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**The Star-Spangled Banner" 

"Hail Columbia" 

"Yankee Doodle" 




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L. C. card, 9^^5010 



Prbfaob. 5 

"Tbb Star-Spanglbd Bannbr." 7-42 

"Hail Columbia." 43-72 

"America." 7^78 

"Yankee Doodle." 7»-166 

Ltteraturb used for this Report 157-164 

Appendix: Illustrations 165-248 

Index 249-255 



In December, 1907, I received instructions from the Librarian 
of Congress to "bring together the various versions both of 
text and of music with notes as to the historical evolution'' 
of "The Star-Spangled Banner," "HaQ Columbia," "America," 
and "Yankee Doodle." The report was to be brief and light of 
touch, but accurate enough for practical purposes. This task 
would have been comparatively easy had the literature on the sub- 
ject been reliable. Unfortunately it crumbled under the slightest 
critical pressure, and it became imperative to devote more research 
and more analytical and synthetic thought to the report than had 
seemed advisable at first. This and the fact that the report had to 
be compiled without neglect of current duties accounts for the delay 
in submitting it. 

In form the report is frankly not a history of the subject, such as 
one would write for popular consmnption. Rather, in this report 
data are collected, eliminated, or verified; popular theories founded 
on these data are analyzed, their refutation or acceptance is sug- 
gested, and, of course, some theories of my own are offered for critical 
consideration. All this is done in such a form that the reader is at 
no step supposed to find a locked door between himself and the argu- 
ment. He is not supposed to accept a single statement of fact or 
argument \mless the evidence submitted compels him to do so. This 
plein air treatment of a popular theme distinguishes the report some- 
what from the bulk of the literature on the subject. In short, though 
not intended for popular consimiption, it may be used for popular 
consiunption with reasonable assurance of accuracy. 


Chief, Music Division 
Herbebt Putnam 

Librarian of Congress • 

Washinffton, D. C, August, 1909 


Opinions differ widely on the merits of "The Star-Spangled Banner" 
as a national song. Some critics fail to see in Francis Scott Key's 
inspired lines poetry of more than patriotic value. Some look upon 
it merely as a flag song, a military song, but not as a national hymn. 
Some criticize the melody for its excessive range, but others see no 
defects in "The Star-Spangled Banner" and feel not less enthusiastic 
over its esthetic merits as a national song than over its sincere patri- 
otic sentiment. This controversy will be decided, whether rightly or 
wrongly, by the American people regardless of critical analysis, leg- 
islative acts, or naive efforts to create national songs by prize com- 
petition. This report does not concern itself at all with such quasi 
esthetic problems, nor is it here the place to trace the political history 
of "The Star-Spangled Banner" beyond what is necessary for the 
understanding of its history as a national song. 

As has been well known for a long time, the first though brief 
accoimt of the origin of "The Star-Spangled Banner" appeared in the 
Baltimore American on September 21, 1814, imder the heading of: 


The annexed song was composed under the following circumstances: A gentle- 
man had left Baltimore, in a flag of truce for the purpose of getting released from 
the British fleet a friend of his who had been captured at Marlborough. He went 
as &kr as the mouth of the Patuxent, and was not permitted to return lest the 
intended attack on Baltimore should be disclosed. He was therefore brought 
up the Bay to the mouth of the Patapsco, where the flag vessel was kept imder 
the guns of a frigate, and he was compelled to witness the bombardment of Fort 
M 'Henry, which the Admiral had boasted that he would carry in a few hours, and 
that the city must fall. He watched the flag at the fort through the whole day 
with an anxiety that can be better felt than described, imtil the night prevented 
him from seeing it. In the night he watched the Bomb Shells, and at early 
dawn his eye was again greeted by the proudly waving flag of his country. 

This accoimt is followed by the text of Key's poem without special 
title, but with the indication: "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven." 

As this account was printed almost immediately after the events 
therein described took place, and were in every reader's memory, the 
newspaper editor, of course, omitted specific dates, but it is a matter 
of history that the gallant defense of Fort McHenry under Major 
Armistead began on the morning of Tuesday, September 13, and 
lasted imtil the early hours of September 14, 1814. The gentleman 


8 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

IB, of course, Francis Scott Key, and either his own modesty or an 
editorial whim kept his authorship from the public. 

The first detailed and authentic accoimt of the origin of ''The Star- 
Spangled Banner'' practically came from Francis Scott Key himself , 
who narrated it shortly after the British designs on Baltimore failed, 
to his brother-in-law, Mr. R. B. Taney, subsequently Chief Justice of 
our Supreme Court. When in 1856 Mr. Henry V. D. Jones edited 
the " Poems of the Late Francis S. Key, Esq. . . ." (New York, 1857) , 
Chief Justice Taney contributed Key's yersion from memory, in an 
introductory " letter . . . narrating the incidents connected with the 
origin of the song 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'" This interesting 
narrative has been made the basis of all subsequent accounts. Its 
substance is this: When, after the battle of Bladensburg, the main 
body of the British army had passed through the town of Upper 
Marlborough, some stri^gglers, who had left the ranks to plimder or 
from some other motive, made their appearance from time to time, 
singly or in small squads, and a Doctor Beanes, who had previously 
been very hospitable to the British officers "put himself at the head 
of a small body of citizens to pursue and make prisoners" of the 
stragglers. Information of this proceeding reached the British and 
Doctor Beanes was promptly seized. The British "did not seem to 
regard him, and certainly did not treat him, as a prisoner of war, 
but as one who had deceived and broken his faith to them." Doctor 
Beanes was the leading physician of his town and so highly respected 
that the news of his imprisonment filled his friends with alarm. They 
"hastened to the head-quarters of the English army to solicit his 
release, but it was peremptorily refused," and they were informed 
that he had been carried as a prisoner on board the fleet. Francis 
Scott Key happened also to be one of the Doctor's intimate friends, 
and as Mr. Key, just then a volimteer in Major Peter's Light Artil- 
lery, but a lawyer by profession, was a resident of Georgetown, which 
means practically Washington, the other friends requested him — 

to obtain the Banction of the government to his going on board the admiral's ship 
under a flag of truce and endeavoring to procure the release of Dr. Beanee, before 
the fleet sailed. 

. . . Mr. Key readily agreed to undertake the mission in his favor, and the Presi- 
dent [Madison] promptly gave his sanction to it. Orders were immediately issued 
to the vessel usually employed as a cartel [the Mindenl in the communications 
with the fleet in the Chesapeake to be made ready without delay; and Mr. John S. 
Skinner, who was agent for the government for flags of truce and exchange of pris- 
oners, and who was well known as such to the officers of the fleet, was directed to 
accompany Mr. Key. And as soon as the arrangements were made, he hastened to 
Baltimore, where the vessel was, to embark; . . . 

We heard nothing from him until the enemy retreated from Baltimore, which, 
as well as I can now recoUect, was a week or ten days after he left us; and we were 
becoming uneasy about him, when, to our great joy, he made his appearance at my 
house, on his way to join his ftunily. 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 9 

He told me that he found the British fleet, at the mouth of the Potomac, prepar- 
ing for the expedition against Baltimore. He was courteously received by Ad- 
miral Cochrane, and the officers of the army, as well as the navy. But when he 
made known his business, his application was received so coldly, that he feared he 
would isAl. General Ross and Admiral Cockbum — who accompanied the expedi- 
tion to Washington — particularly the latter, spoke of Dr. Beanes, in very harsh 
terms, and seemed at first not disposed to release him. It, however, happened, 
fortunately, that Mr. Skinner carried letters from the wounded British officers left 
at Bladensburg; and in these letters to their friends on board the fleet, they all 
spoke of the humanity and kindness with which they had been treated after they 
had fallen into our hands. And after a good deal of conversation, and strong repre- 
sentations from Mr. Key, as to the character and standing of Dr. Beanes, and of the 
deep interest which the community in which he lived, took in his i&te, General 
Ross said that Dr. Beanes deserved much more pimishment than he had received ; 
but that he felt himself boimd to make a return for the kindness which had been 
shown to his wounded officers, whom he had been compelled to leave at Bladens- 
burg; and upon that ground, and that only, he would release him. But Mr. Key 
was at the same time informed that neither he, nor any one else, would be per- 
mitted to leave the fleet for some days; and must be detained until the attack on 
Baltimore, which was then about to be made, was over. But he was assured that 
they would make him and Mr. Skinner, as comfortable as possible, while they 
detained him. Admiral Cochrane, with whom they dined on the day of their 
arrival, apologized for not accommodating them on his own ship, saying that it was 
crowded already with officera of the army; but that they would be well taken care 
of in the frigate Surpriae, commanded by his son. Sir Thomas Cochrane. And to 
this frigate, they were accordingly transferred. 

Mr. Key had an interview with Dr. Beanes, before General Ross consented to 
release him. I do not recollect whether he was on board the admiral's ship, or the 
Surpme, but I believe it was the former. He found him in the forward part of the 
ship, among the sailors and soldiers ; he had not had a change of clothes from the time 
he was seized ; was constantly treated with indignity by those around him, and no 
officer would speak to him. He was treated as a culprit, and not as a prisoner of war. 
And this harsh and humiliating treatment continued until he was placed on board 
the cartel . . . 

Mr. Key and Mr. Skinner continued on board of the Surprise, where they were 
very kindly treated by Sir Thomas Cochrane, imtil the fleet reached the Patapsco, 
and preparations were making for landing the troops. Admiral Cochrane then 
shifted his flags to the frigate, in order that he might be able to move further up 
the river, and superintend in person, the attack by water, on the fort. And Mr. 
Key and Mr. Skinner were then sent on board their own vessel, with a guard of 
sailors, or marines, to prevent them from landing. They were permitted to take 
Dr. Beanes with them and they thought themselves fortunate in being anchored 
in a position which enabled them to see distinctly the flag of Fort M' Henry from 
the deck of the vessel. He proceeded then with much animation to describe the 
scene on the night of the bombardment. He and Mr. Skinner remained on deck 
during the night, watching every shell, from the moment it was fired, imtil it fell, 
listening with breathless interest to hear if an explosion followed. While the bom- 
bardment continued, it was sufficient proof that the fort had not surrendered . But 
it suddenly ceased some time before day; and as they had no communication with 
any of the enemy's ships, they did not know whether the fort had surrendered, or 
the attack upon it been abandoned. They paced the deck for the residue of the 
night in painful suspense, watching with intense anxiety for the return of day, and 
looking every few minutes at their watches, to see how long they must wait for it; 
and as soon as it dawned, and before it was light enough to see objects at a distance, 

10 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

their ghaeee were turned to the fort, uncertain whether they should see there the 
BtaiB and stripee, or the flag of the enemy. At length the li^t came, and they saw 
that ** our flag was still there." And as the day advanced, they discovered, from 
the movements of the boats between the shore and the fleet, that the troops had 
been roughly handled, and that many wounded men were carried to the ships. At 
length he was informed that the attack on Baltimore had failed, and the British 
army was re-embarking, and that he and Mr. Skinner, and Dr. Beanes would be 
permitted to leave them, and go where they pleased, as soon as the troops were on 
board, and the fleet ready to sail. 

He then told me that, under the excitement of the time, he had written a 
song, and handed me a printed copy of ''The Star Spangled Banner." When I 
had read it, and expressed my admiration, I asked him how he found time, in 
the scenes he had been passing through, to compose such a song? He said he 
commenced it on the deck of their vessel, in the fervor of the moment, when he 
saw the enemy hastily retreating to their ships, and looked at the flag he had 
watched for so anxiously as the morning opened; that he had written some lines, 
or brief notes that would aid him in calling them to mind, upon the back of a 
letter which he happened to have in his pocket; and for some of the lines, as he 
proceeded, he was obliged to rely altogether on his memory; and that he finished 
it in the boat on his way to the shore, and wrote it out as it now stands, at the hotel, 
on the night he reached Baltimore, and immediately after he arrived. He said 
that on the next morning, he took it to Judge Nicholson, to ask him what he 
thou^t of it, that he was so much pleased with it, that he immediately sent it 
to a printer, and directed copies to be struck off in hand-bill form; and that he, 
Mr. Key, believed it to have been favorably received by the Baltimore public. 

More than forty years had elapsed since Chief Justice Taney had 
heard this story for the first time from Francis Scott Key, and 
though it probably was modified or embellished in course of time, yet 
in substance it has the earmarks of authenticity. Exactly for this 
reason, if for no other. Chief Justice Taney's account furnished the 
foimdation for all further accounts, but it should be noticed that the 
Chief Justice does not tell us anything beyond how the words came 
to be written, until struck off in handbill form. We do not learn 
when and under what circumstances the broadside was printed, 
how the poem was wedded to its music, or when and by whom the 
song was first read or simg. If certain writers do include such state- 
ments in their quotations from Taney's accoimt, they certainly did 
not read Taney's introductory letter, but most probably copied 
their quotations from Admiral Preble, who indeed but carelessly 
attributes such statements to the Chief Justice. The' data not con- 
tained in Taney's accoxmt had to be supplied by others, and it is 
very ciuious that instantly this part of the history of "The Star-Span- 
gled Banner" became confused, whereas Chief Justice Taney's 
accoimt remained unchallenged except in unimportant points, as 
for instance, the reasons for Doctor Beanes's arrest. Under this 
head Chief Justice Taney was rather vague; not so Mrs. Anna H. 
Dorsey, who in the Washington Simday Morning Chronicle added 
some ''lesser facts," which were reprinted ux Dawson's Historical 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 11 

Magazine, 1861, Yoliime 5, pages 282-283. According to Mrs. Dor- 
sey, Dr. William Beanes, the uncle of her mother, was celebrating 
with copious libations a rumored British defeat at Washington when 
''three foot-sore, dusty, and weary soldiers made their appearance 
on the scene in qu^t of water." Somewhat under the influence of 
the excellent punch. Doctor Beanes and his friends made them pris- 
oners of war, and very naturally, the British resented this, to say the 
least, indiscreet act. The Beanes-Dorsey family tradition is given 
here for all it is worth, but if correct, then it would be a singular 
coincidence that an English drinking song called '^To Anacreon in 
Heaven" furnished the melody for a poem which had its root in 
an event inspired by Bacchus. Indeed Doctor Beanes and his friends 
might have been voicing their sentiments ''To Anacreon in Heaven." 

Different is the account written by Mr. F. S. Key Smith for the 
Republic Magazine, 1908, April, pages 10-20, on "Fort McHenry 
and 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' " According to Mr. Smith, a party 
of marauding stragglers came into the Doctor's garden and intruded 
themselves upon him and his little company. "Elated over their 
supposed victory of the day previous, of which the Doctor and his 
friends had heard nothing," says Mr. Smith, "they were boisterous, 
disorderly, and insolent, and upon being ordered to leave the prem- 
ises became threatening. Whereupon, at the instance of Doctor 
Beanes and his friends, they were arrested by the town authorities and 
lodged in the Marlborough jail." 

This version, too, is quoted here for all it is worth; but it should 
be noted that throughout this article, dealing elaborately only with 
the political history of Key's poem, Mr. Smith is conspicuously silent 
about his authorities, thus preventing critical readers from accepting 
his statements without skepticism. A case in point is his continua- 
tion of Chief Justice Taney's narrative: 

He [Judge Nicholson, also Key's brother-in-law] took it [the draft of the song] 
to the printing office of Captain Benjamin Edes on North Street near the comer 
of Baltimore street, but the Captain not having returned from duty with the 
Twenty-Sixth Maryland Regiment, his office was closed, and Judge Nicholson 
proceeded to the newspaper office of the Baltimore American and Commercial 
Daily Advertiser, where the words were set in type by Samuel Sands, an appren- 
tice at the time. . . . Copies of the song were struck off in handbill form, and 
promiscuously distributed on the street. Catching with popular favor like 
prairie fire it spread in every direction, was read and discussed, until, in less 
than an hour, the news was all over the dty. Picked up by a crowd assembled 
about Captain McCauley's tavern, next to the Holiday Street Theater, where 
two brothers Charles and Ferdinand Durang, musicians and actors, were stop- 
ping, the latter mounted a chair, and rendered it in fine style to a large assemblage. 

On the evening of the same day that Mr. Charles [II] Durang first sang ''The 
Star Spangled Banner,'' it was again rendered upon liie stage of the HoUiday 
Street Theater by an actress, and the theater is said to have gained thereby a 
national reputation. In less than a week it had reached New Orleans [1] . . . 

12 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

This is merely the hastily concocted and uncritically diluted essence 
of previous articles, including that by Taney. It will be more profit- 
able to turn to the very few original accounts than to dissect or even 
pay much attention to the second-hand compilations from these 
original sources, no matter how spirited or otherwise attractive 
they may be. 

One C. D., in the EKstorical Magazine of 1864, voliune 8, pages 347- 
348, has this to say: 

One of your correBpondents inquires in what form the song of the Star Spangled 
Banner was first printed? I think that in the Hielory of the PkUaMpkia Stage 
you will find that subject clearly explained. The song was first imnted and put 
upon the press by Captain Edes, of Baltimore, who belonged to Colonel Long's 
Twenty-Seventh Regiment of militia. He kept his printing office at the comer 
of Baltimore and Gay Streets. It was given him by the author, Mr. Key, of 
Washington, in its amended form, after the battle of North Point, about the 
latter end of September 1814. The original draft, with its interlineations and 
amendatory erasures, etc. was purchased by the late Gen. George Keim, of 
Reading, and I suppose his heirs have it now. It was printed on a small piece 
of paper in the style of our old ballads that were wont to be hawked about the 
streets in days of yore. It was first simg by about twenty volimteer soldiers in 
front of the Holliday Street Theater, who used to congr^ate at the adjoining 
tav^n to get their early mint juleps. Ben. Edes brought it round to them on 
one of those libating mornings or matinees. I was one of the group. My brother 
sang it. We all formed the chorus. This is its history . . . 

The reference to the ''History of the Philadelphia Stage'' and to 
"My brother" immediately implies the identity of this C. D. with 
Charles Durang^ brother of Ferdinand Dnrang (both actors), and 
joint author, or, rather, editor of his father John's, "History of the 
Philadelphia Stage," published serially in the Philadelphia Sunday 
Dispatch, 1854-55. Consequently we have here the testimony of a 
contemporary earwitness. A few years later, in 1867, Col. John L. 
Warner read before the Peimsylvania EQstorical Society a paper on 
"The Origin of the American National Anthem called 'The Star- 
Spangled Banner,'" and this paper was printed in the Historical 
Magazine, 1867, Volume II, pages 279-280. As will be seen from 
the following quotation, it does not contradict Charles Durang's 
account, but merely supplements it. Says Colonel Warner: 

It was first sung when fresh from his [Captain Benjamin Edes'] press, at a small 
frame one-story house, occupied as a tavern next to the Holiday Street Theatre. 

This tavern had long been kept by the widow Berling, and then by a Colonel 
MacConkey, a house where the players ''most did congregate/* with the quid 
nuncs of that day, to do honor to, and to prepare for, the daily military drills in 
Gay Street, (for every able man was then a soldier;) and here came, also. Captain 
Benjamin Edes, of the Twenty-seventh Regiment; Captain Long and Captain 
Thomas Warner, of the Thirty-ninth Regiment, and Major Frailey. Warner 
was a silversmith of good repute in that neighborhood. 

It was the latter end of September, 1814, when a lot of the young volunteer 
defenders of the Monumental City was thus assembled. Captain Edes and Cap- 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 13 

tain Tliomafl Warner came early along one morning and forthwith called the 
group (quite merry with the British defeat) to order, to listen to a patriotic song 
which the former had just struck off at his press. He then read it to all the yoimg 
volunteers there assembled, who greeted each verse with hearty shouts. It was 
then suggested that it should be sung; but who was able to sing it? Ferdinand 
Duiang, who was a soldier in the cause and known to be a vocalist, being among 
the group, was assigned the task of vocalising this truly inspired patriotic hynm 
of the lamented Key. The old air of " Anacreon in Heaven " had been adapted 
to it by the author, and Mr. Edes was desired so to print it on the top of the baUad. 
Its solemn melody and impressive notes seem naturally allied to the poetry, 
and speak emphatically the musical taste and judgement of Mr. Key. Ferdinand 
Duiang mounted an old-fashioned rush-bottomed chair, and sang this admirable 
national song for the first time in our Union, the chorus to each verse being re- 
echoed by those present with infinite harmony of voices. It was thus simg 
several times during the morning. When the theatre was opened by Warren 
and Wood, it was simg nightly, after the play, by Paddy McFarland and the 

So far the historian would have plain sailmg; but his troubles begin 
with an article written for Harper's Magazine, 1871, volume 43, pages 
254-258, by Mrs. Nellie Eyster, as appears from the printed index. 
Under the title of "'The Star-Spangled Banner:' An hour with an 
octogenarian," she reports an interview held on November 20, 1870, 
with Mr. Hendon, of Frederick, Md., who knew Francis Scott Key 
personally as a boy and who moved in 1809 to Lancaster, Pa., whence 
both the Durangs hailed. Together with Charles and Ferdinand 
Durang he belonged to the Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia, which on 
August 1, 1814, left Harrisburg in defense of Baltimore, but, remem- 
bers Mr. Hendon, they "marched to the seat of war three days after 
the battle had been won," and with special reference to the defense of 
Fort McHenry he "was chafing like a caged tiger because [he] was not 
IQ it." He further says that " they remained upon Gallows Hill, near 
Baltimore, for three months, daily waiting for an enemy that never 
came. Then, for the first time since leaving York DPa.], [they] took 
breathing time and looked about for amusement." Follows what 
Admiral George Henry Preble called a more fanciful version than 
Warner's account when he copied Mr. Hendon's words for a foot- 
note (p. 494) in the chapter on "Our National Songs" (pp. 490-511) 
in the first edition (Albany, 1872) of his industrious and popular 
compilation, "Our Flag:" 

**Have you heard Francis Key's poem?" said one of our men, coming in one 
evening, as we lay scattered over the green hill near the captain's marquee. It 
was a rude copy, and written in a scrawl which Horace Greeley might have mis- 
taken for his own. He read it aloud, once, twice, three times, until the entire 
division seemed electrified by its pathetic eloquence. 

An idea seized Ferd. Durang. Hunting up a volume of flute music, which 
was in somebody's tent, he impatiently whistled snatches of time after tune, 
just as they caught his quick eye. One, called " Anacreon in Heaven ", (I have 
played it often for it was in my book that he found it), struck his fancy and 

14 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

livetted lus attention. Note after note fell from his puckered lipe until, with a 
leap and shout, he exclaimed "Boys, I've hit itt" and fitting the tune to the 
words, they sang out for the first time the song of the Star Spangled Banner. 
How the men shouted and clapped, for never was there a wedding of poetry to 
music made under such inspiring influences! Getting a brief furlou^, the 
brothers [It.] sang it in public soon after . . . 

In the second edition of his work (1880), then called "History of 
the Flag of the United States of America," Admiral Preble reprinted 
this fanciful story, together with the Charies Durang and Colonel 
Warner accoimt, but again without the slightest attempt at critical 
comparison and apparently without noticing that we do not have to 
deal here with more or less fanciful differences, but with reminiscent 
accounts that exclude each other. What subsequent writers con- 
tributed in this vein to the literature on "The Star-Spangled Ban- 
ner" may be disregarded since they merely paraphrased with more 
or less accuracy what they foimd in Preble or in his sources, as for 
instance, when one writer in the American Historical Record, 1873, 
volimoie 2, pages 24-25, carelessly mentions Charles instead of Ferdi- 
nand Durang as the first singer of "The Star-Spangled Banner." 
However, a belated version with fanciful variations of the main 
theme should be noticed, as it was printed sometime in 1897 in the 
Philadelphia Ledger and from there reprinted in substance in the 
Iowa Historical Record, July, 1897, page 144. According to this, 
"the second day after the words were written, Ferdinand Durang 
was rummaging in his trunk in a tavern in Baltimore, where he had 
his baggage, for music to suit the words, and finally selected that of 
'Anacreon in Heaven.' By the time he had simg the third verse, in 
trying the music to the words, the little tavern was full of people, 
who spontaneously joined in the chorus. The company was soon 
joined by the author of the words, Francis Scott Key, to whom the 
tune was submitted for approval, who also took up the refrain of the 
chorus, thus indorsing the music. A few nights afterward ' The Star- 
Spangled Banner' being called for by the audience at the HoUiday 
Street Theater, in Baltimore, Ferdinand Durang sang it from the 
stage. Durang died in New York in 1832. Durang had a brother, 
Charles, also a soldier in the * Blues, ' who was likewise an actor, who 
died in Philadelphia in 1875. . . ." 

Finally an accoimt deserves to be reprinted here in part, because 
it mentioned the person who set Key's poem in type, though otherwise 
the lines quoted are not overly accurate, as the reader of the Taney 
letter will notice. It appeared in the Baltimore American on Sep- 
tember 12, 1872, together with a facsimile of the article, etc., of 
September 21, 1814, and reads in part: 

We have placed at the head of this article this now immortal national song 
just as it first saw the light in print fifty-eight years ago . . . This eong, as the 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 15 

form in which it is given shows, was published anonymously. The poet, Fran- 
cis Scott Key, was too modest to announce himself, and it was some time after its 
appearance that he became known as its author . . . Mr. Skinner chanced to 
meet Mr. Key on the flag-of-truce boat, obtained from him a copy of his song, and 
he furnished the manuscript to * ' The American " after the fight was over. It was 
at once put in type and published. It was also printed in slips and extensively 
circulated. The "printer's boy," then employed in the office of "The Ameri- 
can," who put this song in tyx>e, survives in full vigor, our respected Mend, the 
editor and publisher of the "American Farmer," Samuel Sands, Esq. 

That to Ferdinand Durang belongs the honor of having first sung 
Key's poem is unanimously asserted (except by those who confuse 
him with his brother Charles), but it remains an open question when 
and where he might so have done. On this point, the two earwit- 
nesses, Charles Durang and Mr. Hendon, disagree. According to the 
reminiscences of the latter, the event must have happened at least 
three months after September 14 in camp on Gallows Hill near Balti- 
more. Now, it has already been mentioned that the brief account of 
the circumstances leading to the writing of Key's poem printed in 
the Baltimore American on September 21, preceded the full text of 
the poem under the heading *' Defence of Fort M'Heniy" with the 
remark "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven." It may be that Mr. Hendon 
heard Ferdinand Durang sing the hymn in camp after September 21, 
but it stands to reason that at least as early as September 21 other 
vocally inclined readers of the Baltimore American enjoyed the com- 
bination of Key's ''Defence of Fort M'Henry," and the tune "To 
Anacreon in Heaven." K we possessed no other contemporary 
evidence, Ferdinand Durang's claims would rest upon very shaky- 
grounds indeed, nor is the rest of Mr. Hendon's story at all of a nature 
as to inspire reliance upon his memory. Mr. Elson in his "National 
Music of America " (p. 202) bluntly expressed his suspicion to the effect 
that "never was a bolder or more fantastical claim set up in musical 
history," and every musician will agi^ee with him that the "puckered 
lips" and the frantic hunt for a suitable tune in a volume of flute 
music is sheer journalistic nonsense, which verdict applies also to the 
Philadelphia Ledger account. And his himt for a melody happened 
three months after the tune, to which the words were to keep com- 
pany, had been publicly annoimced! 

The suspicious character of Mr. Hendon's long-distance reminis- 
cences leaves those of Charles Durang to stand on their own merits, 
but unfortunately they do not help us in fixing the exact date of the 
first performance of ''The Star-Spangled Banner." Charles Durang 
merely remembered having been one of the chorus when his brother 
Ferdinand and about twenty volunteer soldiers who used to con- 
gregate at the adjoining tavern in the morning first sang the song 
after Ben. Edes brought it round to them on one of those libating 



16 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

mornings. This may have been the morning of September 15, when 
Samuel Sands, the apprentice, is popularly supposed to have set 
the poem as a broadside, or any other morning, including a morning 
after September 21, when the poem had appeared with indication of 
the tune in the Baltimore American. Nor is Colonel Warner's account, 
who perhaps was a descendant of Capt. Thomas Warner, which pos- 
sibiUty would give his account the strength of a family tradition, 
more explicit on this point. At this tavern, it being a southern Sep- 
tember morning, niay mean practically the same as in Charles 
Durang's version, in hront of the adjoining Holliday Street Theater. 
There Captain Edes, in company of Capt. Thomas Warner, is said to 
have called the attention of the group of volunteers 'Ho a patriotic 
song which [he] had just struck oflf at his press." Consequently, 
neither Durang nor Warner substantiate the popular version that 
Ferdinand Durang sang ''The Star-Spangled Banner" for the first 
time on September 15, 1814. Nor do they even substantiate the 
universally accepted theory that the broadside was struck off Edes's 
press on September 15! Indeed, not even Key-Taney's report: 
"Judge Nicholson . . . immediately sent it [the manuscript] to a 
printer, and directed copies to be struck off in hand-bill form," 
necessarily implies the conclusion that they were struck off on the 
morning of September 15. At any rate, the story that Key's poem 
was taken to a printer, set as a broadside, distributed about town, 
read, discussed, sung with great gusto, etc., and all this on the morning 
of September 15, 1814, belongs to the realm of unwholesome fiction! 
On the evening of September 15 "The Star-Spangled Banner," 
says Mr. F. S. Key Smith, was "rendered upon the stage of the 
Holliday Street Theater by an actress." Also Ferdinand Durang is 
mentioned in this connection by some writers, and others proffer other 
names. What are the facts ? In the first place, the suspicions of the 
historians should have been aroused by the observation that the actor- 
manager, Wood, in his autobiography does not mention any theatrical 
performances at Baltimore in September, 1814. In the second place, 
if they had consulted the Baltimore papers of that period, such as 
the Federal Gazette, Baltimore Patriot, Baltimore American — none of 
which was published, by the way, by Benjamin Edes! — they would 
have found no theatrical performances announc-ed in September, 1814, 
at all, but they would have found a notice in the Federal Gazette, 
September 20, to the effect that "about 600 Pennsylvania troops 
arrived yesterday," among them a Lancaster company, apparently 
the very militia troops to which Ferdinand Durang belonged. Not 
only this, the historians would further have found from the same 
source that the theater was not opened untU October IS, I8I4. No 
reference to "The Star-Spangled Banner" appears in the announce- 
ments of this evening or of the benefit performance on October 14 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 17 

''to aid the fund for the defence of the city/' unless hidden away on 
the benefit program as "a patriotic epilogue by Mrs. Mason/' On 
this evening Ferdinand Durang did appear — dancing a " military horn- 
pipe." With a little patience the historians at last would have found 
in the announcement of the historical play ''Count Benyowski" for 
Wednesday evening, October 19, 1814 (in the Baltimore American 
appears October 15 as a misprint), the following lines, which at last 
shed the light of fact on the whole matter: 

After the play, Mr. Harding [the Federal Gazette spells the name Hardinge] 
will sing a much admired New Song, written by a gentleman of Maryland, in 
commemoration of the gallant Dbvbncb of Fobt M'Henby, called, The Stab 
Spanqled Banneb. . . . 

The rather imimaterial question of whether or not and when and 
where Ferdinand Durang possibly sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" 
for the first time leads up to the much more important question: 
How came the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven/' and no other, to be 
wedded to Key's poem? Chief Justice Taney, as anybody can see 
and as all should have seen before rushing into print with their 
stories, is absolutely silent on this point. So is Charles Durang. 
Colonel Warner says: 

The old air of Anacreon in Heaven had hem adapted to it by the author^ and 
Mr. Edes waa desired so to print it on to the top of the ballad. 

The most reliable reports, therefore, do not mention Ferdinand 

Durang at all in this connection. He figures as musical godfather 

to "The Star-Spangled Banner'' in the journalistic reports only and 

under rather suspicious circumstances. However, there exists another 

and different version. Mrs. Rebecca Lloyd Shippen, of Baltimore, a 

granddaughter of Judge Joseph Hopper Nicholson and a greatniece 

of Francis Scott Key, contributed to the Pennsylvania Magazine of 

History and Biography, 1901-2, volume 25, pages 427-428, an article 

on "The Original Manuscript of 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' " of 

which more will have to be said further on. In this article we read: 

Judge Nicholson wrote a little piece that appears at the heading of the lines, 
above which he also wrote the name of the tune " Anacreon in Heaven *' — a tune 
which Mrs. Charles Howard, the dau^ter of Francis Scott Key, told me was a 
common one at that day — and Judge Nicholson, being a musician among his other 
accomplishments and something of a poet, no doubt took but a few minutes to see 
that the lines given him by Francis Scott Key could be sung to that tune, and, 
in all haste to give the lines as a song to the public, he thus marked it. I possess 
this rare original manuscript, kept carefully folded by his wife, Rebecca Lloyd 
Nicholson, and taken from her private papers by myself [Mrs. Shippen] and 

Judge Nicholson's part in the history of "The Star-Spangled Ban- 
ner'' was narrated in substantially the same manner in editorial foot- 
notes to an article on "The Star-Spangled Banner," copied largely 
from Chief Justice Taney by Mrs. Shippen, for the Pennsylvania 

86480-09 2 

18 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

Magazine of History and Biography, 1898-99, volume 22, pages 
321-325. It follows that the editor was either inspired by Mrs. 
Shippen or Mrs. Shippen by the editor. Careful reading of this par- 
ticular part of the article imph'es that we have to deal here with a 
personal opinion, not with contemporary evidence, or even with a 
family tradition. Waiving aside for the present some doubts as to 
the accuracy of the story as quoted above, the main contention 
appears to be that Judge Nicholson supplied the tune. light is shed 
on the whole matter if the history of the tune "To Anacreon in 
Heaven'' in England and America is briefly summarized. 

For a long time the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" was attrib- 
uted, if attributed to any composer at all, to Dr. Samuel Arnold 
(1740-1802). Of this opinion were J. C. (in Baltimore Clipper, 1841), 
Nason (1869), Salisbury (1872), and others. The general inabiUty to 
substantiate this rumor finally led to one of the most grotesquely 
absurd articles in musical literature, namely that in the American 
Art Journal, 1896 (v. 68, pp. 194-195), by J. Fairfax McLaughlin, 
imder the title "The Star-Spangled Banner! Who Composed the 
Music for It. It is American, not English." The Musical Times, of 
London, 1896 (pp. 516-519), immediately challenged Mr. McLaugh- 
lin's statements and elaborately buried his patriotic aspirations, 
though this service could have been rendered him just as neatly by a 
reference to Mr. William Chappell's article "The Star-Spangled Ban- 
ner and To Anacreon in Heaven" in Notes and Queries, 1873, fourth 
series, volume 11, pages 50-51, or to the footnote on page 6 of Mr. 
Stephen Salisbury's "Essay on The Star-Spangled Banner," 1873, 
where the contents of a pertinent letter from Mr. William Chappell 
were made public. 

In the following pages a combination is attempted of the data, 
so far as I could verify them in the articles by Chappell and X in the 
Musical Times with the data in Grove's Dictionary and elsewhere, 
adding to or deducting from this information the results of a corre- 
spondence with such esteemed British authors as Mr. Frank Eadson, 
Mr. William Barclay Squire, and Mr. W. H. Grattan Flood. 

In his "Musical Memohs" (1830, Vol. I, pp. 80-84) W. T. Parke 
entered under the year 1786 these entertaining lines: 

This season I became an honorary member of the Anacreontic Society, and at 
the first meeting played a concerto on the oboe, as did Cramer on the violin. The 
assemblage of subscribers was as usual very numerous, amongst whom were sev- 
eral noblemen and gentlemen of the first distinction. Sir Richard Hankey 
(the banker) was the chairman. This ftuhionable society consisted of a limited 
number of members, each of whom had the privilege of introducing a Mend, for 
which he paid in his subscription accordingly. The meetings were held in the 
great ball-room of the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, once a fortnight 
during the season, and the entertainments of the evening consisted of a grand 
concert, in which all the flower of the musical profession assisted as honorary 
members. After the concert an elegant supper was served up; and when the 


The Star-Spangled Banner. 19 

cloth was removed, the constitutional song, beginning, ' * To Anacreon in Heaven, ' ' 
was sung by the chairman or his deputy. This was followed by songs in all the 
varied styles, by theatrical singers and the members, and catches and glees were 
given by some of the first vocalists in the kingdom. The late chairman, Mr. 
Mulso, iKMsessed a good tenor voice, and sang the song alluded to with great 
eoecw ... 

This society, to become members of which noblemen and gentlemen would 
wait a year for a vacancy, was by an act of gallantry brought to a premature dis- 
solution. The Duchess of Devonshire, the great leader of the haut Um^ having 
heard the Anacreontic highly extolled, expressed a particular wish to some of 
its members to be permitted to be privately present to hear the concert, Ac, 
which being made known to the directors, they caused the elevated orchestra 
occupied by the musicians at balls to be fitted up, with a lattice afiuced to the 
front of it, for the accommodation of her grace and party, so that they could see, 
without being seen; but, some of the comic songs, not being exactly calculated 
for the entertainment of ladies, the singers were restrained; which displeasing 
many of the members, they resigned one i^ter another; and a general meeting being 
called, the society was dissolved. 

Misreading slightly Mr. Parke's reminiscences, C. M. in Grove's 
Dictionary claimed that Parke wrote of the dissolution of the club 
in 1786, which he, of course, did not do. Nor would the year 1786 
be tenable, since Pohl in his scholarly book on ''Mozart and Haydn 
in London," 1867 (v. 2, p. 107), gleaned from the Gazetteer of Jan- 
uaiy 14, 1791, that Haydn was the guest of honor at the society's 
concert on January 12. Nor is Mr. Grattan Flood correct if he, in 
some "Notes on the Origin of 'To Anacreon in Heaven,' " sent me 
in June, 1908, dates the dissolution of the society 1796. (While fully 
appreciating the courtesy of Mr. W. H. Grattan Flood in transmitting 
these notes, I regret the inadvisability of using them, except in con- 
nection with other sources, because these notes are singularly at 
variance with the contents of several letters sent me by Mr. Grattan 
Flood on the same subject, and because these notes contain certain 
positive statements without reference to source which it would be 
unmethodical to accept unreservedly.) The "Musical Directory for 
the Year 1794" in the "List of various musical societies" states dis- 
tinctly: "The Anacreontic Society which met at the Crown and 
Anchor Tavern, in the Strand, the festivities of which were heightened 
by a very Select Band." Consequently the society no longer existed 
in 1794. This is not at all contradicted by the entry under Dr. 
Samuel Arnold "Conductor at Acad[emy of Ancient Music], Ana- 
[creontic Society]," because the title-page distinctly reads "musical 
societies of which they [the professors of music] are or Tuwe heen, 
members." (To avoid confusion it may be here added that "To 
Anacreon in Heaven" is not contained in the "Anacreontic Songs for 
1, 2, 3, & 4 voices composed and selected by Dr. Arnold and dedi- 
cated by permission to the Anacreontic Society," London, J. Bland, 

20 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

If it is now clear that the Anacreontic Society must have been dis- 
solved between 1791 and 1794, the year of its foundation is not 
equally clear, and therefore it is a somewhat open question since 
when ''To Anacreon in Heaven" can have been sung as the ''consti- 
tutional" song of this society. Mr. Orattan Flood writes in his 
"Notes" mentioned above: 

The words and mudc of ''To Anacreon" were published by Longman and 
Brodeiip in 1779-1780, and were reprinted by Anne Lee of Dublin (71780) in 1781. 
Dr. CummingB says that he saw a copy printed by Henry Fou^t— at least it is 
made up with single sheet songs printed by Fought — but this is scarcely likely, as 
Fought did not print after 1770, and the song and music were not in existence till 
1770-71 . . . 

Mr. William Barclay Squire in a letter dated September 21, 1908, 
refers to the dates of these two publications, which contain both the 
words and the music, in the guarded sentence, "Both are about 1780, 
but it is quite impossible to tell the exact dates." The Longman & 
Broderip edition is the one the title of which Mr. William Chappell 
transcribed for Notes and Queries, 1873 : 

The Anacreontic Song, as sung at the Grown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, 
the words by Ralph Tomlinson, Esq. late President of that Society. Printed by 
Longman and Broderip, No. 26 Cheapside, and No. 13 Heymarket. 

With reference to Dr. William Cummings's statement that he saw 
a copy printed by Fought, I have not found any such statement by 
Doctor Cummings in print. Apparently Mr. Grattan Flood reported 
part of a conversation with the distinguished English scholar, but in 
reply to a pertinent inquiry Doctor Cummings sent, under date of 
November 7, 1908, this brief note: 

I had a copy of Smith's ''To Anacreon " pub.[lished] in 1771. I showed it at a 
public lecture, but cannot now find it. I have two copies of a little later date. 
The first named was a single sheet song. 

Doctor Cummings evidently was not willing to commit his memory 
under the circumstances on the point of imprint, nor does he make it 
clear whether or no Smith's name appeared on the sheet song as that 
of the composer. Assuming that Doctor Cummings had every solid 
reason to date this, the earliest known issue, of ''To Anacreon," 1771, 
it follows that words and music must have been written at the latest 
in 1771 and at the earliest in the year of foundation of the ''Anacreon- 
tic Society," which is unfortunately unknown. 

In 1786, according to Parke, the chairman of the society was Sir 
Richard Hankey, whose immediate predecessor seems to have been 
Mr. Mulso. About 1780 Ralph Tomlinson, esq., appears in the Long- 
man & Broderip edition, as the "late President of the Society," and 
no other gentleman has yet been found to have preceded him in the 
chair. However, such biographical data are irrelevant for the present 
purpose, and attention might now profitably be called to ''The Vocal 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 21 

Magazine; or, British Songster's Miscellany" (London, 1778), in 
which are published on pages 147-148 as Song 566, without indica- 
tion of the tune, as is the case with all the songs in the collection, the 
words of, 


Written by Ralph Tomlloson, Esq. 

To Anacreon, in Heav'n, where he sat in ftill glee, 

A few sons of harmony sent a petition, 
That he their inspirer ana patron would be; 

When this answer arrived from the jolly old Grecian — 
Voice, fiddle, and flute, 
No longer be mutej 
I'll lend ye my name, and inspire ye to boot: 
And, besides, 1*11 instruct ye, like me, to intwine 
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine. 

The news through Olympus immediately flew; 

When old Tnunder pretended to give himself airs — 
If these mortals are suff^d their scheme to pursue, 
The devil a gwldess will stay above stairs. 
Hark! already they cry, 
In transports of joy, 
A fiR for Parnassus! to Rowley's we'll fly; 
Ana there, mv eood fellows, we'll learn to intwine 
The myrtle oi Venus with Bacchus's vine. 

The yellow-hair'd god, and his nine fusty maids. 
To the hill of old Lud will incontinent flee, 
Idalia will boast but of tenantless shades. 

And the biforked hill a mere desert will be. 
My thunder, no fear on't. 
Will soon do its errand, 
And, dam'me! I'll swinge the ringleaders, I warrant. 
I'll trim the young dogs, for thus darinjg; to twine 
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine. 

Apollo rose up; and said. Pr'ythee ne'er quarrel. 

Good king of the goos, with my vot'nes below t 
Your thunder is useless — then, shewing his laurel, 
Cry'd, Sic evitabileftUmen, you knowl 
Then over each head 
My laurels I'll spread; 
So my sons from your crackers no mischief shall dread, 
Whilst snug in their club-room, they jovially twine 
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus^ vine. 

Next Momus got up, with his risible phiz. 

And swore with Apollo he'd checufully join — 
The full tide of harmonv still shall be his, 

But the song, and the catch, and the laugh shall be mine: 
Then, Jove, be not jealous 
Of these honest fellows. 
Cry'd Jove, We relent, since the truth you now tell us; 
And swear, by Old Styx, that they long shall intwine 
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine. 

Ye sons of Anacreon, then, join hand in hand; 

Preserve unanimity, friendship, and love. 

'Tis your's to support what's so happily plan'd; 

You've the sanction of gods, and the fiat of Jove. 
While thus we agree, 
Our toast let it be. 
May our club flourish happy, united^ and freel 
And long may the sons of Anacreon intwine 
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine. 

22 The Star-Spangled Banner. 


About two years later, as has been stated above, Longman & 
Broderip, of London, and Anne Lee, of Dublin, published " To Anacreon 
in Heaven '' as sheet song with music. It further appeared as Song 
CLXVn on pages 336-337 of "The Vocal Enchantress," London, 
J. Fielding [1783], and this being the earliest version of Tomlinson's 
words with their music in the Library of Congress, it is here reproduced in 
photographic facsimile. (See Appendix, Plate I.) The song received 
increased publicity as Song IV (p. 4) in "Calliope; or, the Musical 
Miscellany," London (C. Elliot and T. Kay), 1788, as Song I (pp. 1-4) 
"Sung by Mr. Bannister at the Anacreontic Society" in the "Edin- 
burgh Musical Miscellany," 1792, and as Song LXXXVll in the 
first volume of Stewart's "Vocal Magazine," Edinburgh, 1797. In 
1796 (Grattan Flood; Mr. Kidson prefers ca. 1796) Smollet Holden, 
of Dublin, made a curious use of the tune by including a "Masonic 
Ode, song and chorus, written by Mr. Connel, on behalf of the Masonic 
Orphan School," to the Anacreontic tune in his A Selection of Masonic 
Songs. A second edition bears the imprint "Dublin, A. L. 5802" 
(A. D. 1802), and Mr. Elson inserted a photographic facsimile of this 
Masonic Ode (first words: "To old EQram, in Heav'n where he sat in 
full glee") from his copy of the second edition in his book on The 
National Music of America. 

The inference to be drawn from the insertion of "To Anacreon in 
Heaven" in the quoted collections, not to mention many later col- 
lections, is plain. As those collections were among the most impor- 
tant and most popular of the time, "To Anacreon in Heaven" must 
have been famiUar to all convivial souls in the British Isles toward 
1800. Now it is a fact that with the possible exception of that mys- 
terious sheet song of 1771, not one of these publications alludes to 
the composer of the tune. It was not the rule to do so in miscel- 
laneous collections, yet it is a curious fact that, while contrary to 
custom, Stewart's Vocal Magazine, 1797, mentions in a separate index 
the composers of many of the airs, it leaves "To Anacreon in Heaven" 
without a composer. Possibly the editor doubted the now generally 
accepted authorship of John Stafford Smith, or he was still unaware 
of the peculiar form of entry (mentioned by Wm. Chappell as early 
as 1873!) of "To Anacreon in Heaven" in: 

The fifth book of canzonets, catches, canons & glees, sprightly and plaintive 
with a part for the piano-forte subjoined where necessary to melodize the score; 
dedicated by permission to Viscount Dudley and Ward, by John Stafford Smith, 
Gent, of His Majesty's Chapels Royal, author of the favorite glees. Blest pair of 
Syrens, Hark the hollow woods, etc. The Anacreontic, and other popular songs. 
Printed for the author. . . . 

This collection was published between 1780 and 1790, the exact 
date being unknown. ''To Anacreon in Heaven" appears on page 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 23 

33, as reproduced here in f acsiinile. (Appendix, Plate II.) The words 
''harmonized by the author" may of course mean harmonized by 
the author of the collection and do not necessarily mean harmonized 
by the author of the air, but these words, together with the fact that 
the collection contains none but Smith's own glees, etc., and the 
wording of the title renders it probable that Smith refers to himself 
as the composer of the music. But why the words ''harmonized by 
the author?" If one looks at the song in its garb as a glee, the bass 
starting out full of confidence, and the other voices continuing the 
melody and juggling with it, one is almost apt to see in this peculiar 
cooperation of the high and low male voices a plausible explanation 
of the notoriously wide range of "The Star-Spangled Banner," if 
sung by one voice. This explanation is possible only if the form of 
"To Anacreon in Heaven" in Smith's Fifth Book was the original 
form. That we do not know, yet the word "harmonized" renders 
it improbable. Furthermore, if that was the original form of the 
piece, then some very radical melodic changes must have taken 
place in the melody shortly afterwards, as a comparison of the two 
facsimiles wiU show. Probably Smith composed it, if he really did 
compose the tune, as a song for one voice, and in "harmonizing" it 
for several and different voices he felt obliged to wander away from 
the original. Of course, if the supposed 1771 sheet song was a sheet 
song for one voice, and if it contained Smith's name as composer, 
then all doubt as to original form and to the composer vanishes. We 
would still have a very simple explanation for the extensive range 
of the tune. Such a wide range was then (and still is, for that mat- 
ter) considered the sine qua non of effective drinking songs. Two 
fine examples "Anacreon a poet of excellent skill" and "Ye mortals 
whom trouble & sorrow attend" may be found in the "Anacreontic 
Songs" of the very conductor of the Anacreontic Society, namely. 
Doctor Arnold, and after all, it should not be forgotten that John 
Stafford Smith could not possibly foresee that his anacreontic master- 
piece would some day have to be sung by old and young of an entire 

a John Stafford Smith was bom 1750 at Gloucester and he died at London September 
Z, 1836. His principal teacher was Doctor Boyce. He became an ** able organist, an 
efficient tenor singer, an excellent composer, and an accomplished antiquary. ' ' From 
1773 on he won many prices of the Catch Club for catches, glees, etc., and his five books 
of glees contain, in the words of Grove, '' compositions which place him in the foremost 
rank of English composers.'' His &unous "Musica Antiqua" appeared in 1812, con- 
taining a selection of music "from the 12th to the beginning of the 18th century," 
for which simple reason it would be futile to look for "To Anacreon in Heaven'' in 
Musica Antiqua. 

24 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

Tracing the American history of the air, or rather the history of its 
use in America, one runs across these statements in Mr. Sahsbury's 
"Essay on 'The Star-Spangled Banner/" 1873, page 7: 

I do not discover that it was a favorite when Robert Treat Paine, Jr. used its 
measure in his spirited song entitled ** Adams and Liberty'' [1798] 

p. 9: 

After sixteen years, in which the tune of the Anacreontic song was seldom 
heard in this country or in Europe, it was applied to the pathetic verses of Mr. 

The second of these statements is nonsensical, the first at least 
improbable, because it is now known that the musical intercourse 
between England and America was too lively in those days to have 
permitted such a well-known air as "To Anacreon in Heaven," pub- 
lished in the most popular collections, to have remained barred from 
our shores. The chances are entirely in favor of the possibility that 
the song had its votaries here in the seventies, the more so as Parke 
states Sir Richard Hankey, later on president of the Anacreontic 
Society, to have served in the British army during oxu* war for inde- 
pendence. Nor would it be at all reasonable to assimie that the 
"Colimibian Anacreontic Society" founded in imitation of the Lon- 
don Society in 1795 at New York, the moving spirit of which was for 
years the great actor-vocalist and bon-vivant John Hodgkinson, 
should not have helped to spread a famiUarity with "To Anacreon in 
Heaven." Indeed, at least one performance of it in pubUc is reason- 
ably certain, namely, when the "Anacreontic Song" was sung by Mr. 
J. West at a concert at Savannah, Ga., August 19, 1796. However, 
Mr. Salisbury himself assists in undermining his theory that "To 
Anacreon in Heaven" was little known in America before it was 
appUed to Key's "pathetic verses." On page 5 of his essay he writes 
of having seen it in his copy of "The Vocal Companion, published in 
Philadelphia, by Matthew Carey in 1796." It matters httle that no 
copy of such a collection is preserved at the Ldbrary of Congress, Bos- 
ton PubUc, New York Public, Brown University, Philadelphia 
Library Company, Pennsylvania Historical Society, Princeton Uni- 
versity, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester; Mr. Salisbury 
must have seen it in a copy of some collection in his possession. Then 
he mentions Robert Treat (scil. Thomas) Paine's spirited "Adams 
and Liberty" ("Ye Sons of Columbia who bravely have fought") 
written for and sung to the time of "To Anacreon in Heaven" at the 
anniversary of the Massachusetts Charitable Fire Society in Boston 
on June 1, 1798. A photographic facsimile of this famous song is 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 25 

given here as it was published in the very popular '^ American Musical 
Miscellany" of 1798. (Appendix, Plate III.) Mr. Salisbury further 
mentions Paine's song "Spain" set to the same tune for a Boston fes- 
tival in honor of the Spanish patriots, January 24, 1809. He also 
mentions (in footnote, p. 10) a ''patriotic offshot" of the Anacreontic 
song, ''perhaps as good as any other commonly known before 1814 " [ f) 
which appeared in The New York Remembrancer, Albany, 1802, with 
the first line "To the Gods who preside o'er the nation below," 
attributed by the Boston Daily Advertiser, May 1, 1873, to Jonathan 
Mitchell Sewall, of Portsmouth, N. H. 

To these four instances of the use of "To Anacreon in Heaven" 
may be added these in the following collections: 

1797. Columbian Songster, New York, p. 136. Song: For the gloriouB Fomv* 
teenth of July. ('* The GeniuB of France from his star begem 'd throne. **) 
1799. Columbian Songster, Wrentham, Mass. Song. 82: Union of the gods. 

1799. A Collection of Songs selected from the works of Mr. Charles Dibdin, to 

which are added the newest and most &tvorite American Patriotic 

Songs, Philadelphia, 
p. 315. Boston Patriotic Song [Adams and Liberty], 
p. 326. Our Country's efficiency ('*Ye sons of Colimibia, determined 
to keep"). 

1800. American Songster, Baltimore: 

p. 9. **To Columbia, who gladly reclined at her ease . . . 
p. 13. ** Ye Sons of Columbia, unite in the cause." 

No tunes are indicated for these two, but the metre plainly suggests 
**To Anacreon in Heav'n." 
p. 233. To Anacreon in Heav'n. 

1802. Vocal companion, Boston. Song XYI. By J. F. Stanfield, Sunderland. 

(" Not the fictions of Greece, nor the dreams of old Rome.") 

1803. The American Republican Harmonist: 

p. 4. ** New Song sung at the celebration of the 4th of July, at Sara- 
toga and Waterford, N. Y. By William Foster" (Brave 
sons of Columbia, your triumph behold). 

p. 30. Jefferson and Liberty. (*'Ye sons of Columbia, who cherish 
the prize. " Text merely altered from Adams and Liberty). 

p. 105. Song [for the fourth of July, 1803] (" In years which are past, 
when America fought). 

p. 111. Song. Sung on the 4th of March, at an entertainment given 
by the American Consul at London. ("Well met, fellow 
free men I lets cheerfuDy greet.") 

p. 126. Song for the anniversary festival of the Tammany Society, 
May 12, 1803. Written by Brother D. E. 

1804. 'Nightingale,' selected by Samuel Larkin, Portsmouth. 

p. 69. Adams and Liberty, 
p. 188. To Anacreon in Heaven. 

26 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

1804. Baltimore Musical Miscellany. 

v. ly p. 26. Anacreon in Heaven (given in Appendix in facsimile, 

PI. IV). 
p. 29. " When Bibo went down to the regions below.'* 
p. 121. Sons of Columbia [Adams and Liberty]. 
V. 2, p. 158. The Social Club. 
1811. Musical Repository, Augusta. 

p. 22. Young Bibo. ("For worms when old Bibo proved delicate 

p. 140. Adams and Liberty [without indication of the tune], 
p. 207. Union of the Gods. ("To Columbia, who gladly clined at 
her ease. ") 
1813. James J. Wilson, National Song Book, Trenton. 

p. 43. "For the Fourth of July" ("Columbians ariset let the cannon 

p. 66. "Embargo and Peace" ("When our sky was illimiinated by 

freedom's bright dawn.") 
p. 68. "Union and Liberty." ("Hark I The Trumpet of war from 

the East sounds alarm.") 
p. 70. " Freedom. " (" Of the victory won over tyrany 's power. ' ') 
p. 87. "The Fourth of July." ("O'er the forest crowned hills, the 
rich vallies and streams.") 
* p. 88. "Jefferson's Election." Sung by the Americans in London, 

March 4, 1802. "Well met, fellow freemen I Let's cheer- 
fully greet. ") 

This is not intended as an exhaustive attempt to trace the tune 
"To Anacreon in Heaven" in early American song collections, but 
merely to prove and to corroborate by facts that "the tune was a 
common one at that day," as Key's own daughter, Mrs. Howard, 
told Mrs. Shippen. 

We have some further contemporary evidence in this commimica- 
tion sent by Mr. Charles V. Hagner to the American Historical Record, 
1873, volume 2, page 129: 

At the time it was written by Mr. Key, during the attack on Fort McHenry, 
Sept., 1814, there was a very popular and ^tshionable new song in vogue, viz: 
''To Anacreon in Heaven," every one who could sing seemed to be singing it. 
The writer of this was at the time, (Sept. 1814) one of some three to four thou- 
sand men composing the advance Light Brigade, chiefly volunteers from Phila- 
delphia, under the conmiand of General John Cadwalader, then encamped in 
the state of Delaware. In the evenings before tattoo, many of the men would 
assemble in squads and sing this song, hundreds joining in the chorus. Mr. 
Key must have caught the infection and adapted his words to the same air. 

Francis Scott Key simply can not have escaped '*To Anacreon in 
Heaven " I Indeed so common was the tune that, after Thomas Paine 
had set the example with his ' 'Adams and Liberty," the music and the 
rather involved form and meter of '*To Anacreon in Heaven" were 
adopted as standards by poetically inclined patriots. This historical 
fact applies with all its force to Francis Scott Key. The form and 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 27 

meter of "To Anacreon in Heaven," "Adams and Liberty," and 
"The Star-Spangled Banner" are practically the same, as the juxta- 
position of the first stanza will prove, if such proof be necessary. 


To Anacreon in heaven, where he sat in full glee, 

A few sons of Harmony sent a petition, 
That he their inspirer and patron would be, 

When this answer arrived from the ioUy old Grecian: 

''Voice, fiddle, and nute, 
''No longer be mute, 
"I'll lend ye mv name, and inspire ye to boot: 

"And besiaes, 1*11 instruct you, like me^ to entwine 
"The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vme." 


say, can you see by the dawn's early li^t. 

what so proudly we hailed at the twuiRht's last gleaming? 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perflous fi^ht, 
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streamingi 

And the rockers red glare. 
The bombs bursting in air 
€kkve proof through the night that our flag was still there; 
O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 

It is absurd to think that any poetically inclined patriot of those 
days like Key could have on the spur of the moment set himself to 
writing a poem of such involved meter and peculiar form as his is 
without using consciously or unconsciously a model. It is equally 
absurd under the circimistances to believe any story, tradition, or 
anecdote from whatever source to the effect that others, with more or 
less difficulty, supplied a tune which fits the words almost more 
smoothly than does John Stafford Smith's air the Anacreontic text 
of Ralph Tomlinson. Internal evidence proves that Francis Scott 
Key, when his imagination took fire from the bombardment of Fort 
McHenry, had either the meter and form of the words or words and 
air of ''To Anacreon in Heaven" or one of its American offshoots in 
mind as a scaffold. If this be now taken for granted, two possibilities 
offer themselves : First, Key wrote his inspired lines as a poem with- 
out anticipating its musical use. When shortly afterwards a desire 
was felt to sing his poem, the identity of poetic meter and form of 
both poems necessarily, and, as it were, automatically, suggested to 
Key himself or any other person of culture the air of "To Anacreon 
in Heaven." The second possibility is that Key did anticipate the 
musical possibilities of his poem and intended it as a song to be sung. 
In that case the fact, as will be seen, that neither his so-called original 
manuscript nor the broadside contain any indication of the tune 

28 The Star^Spangled Banner. 

may be explained by aaBuming that Key, Tery much like the editor 
of the American Songster, Baltimore (1800), conaideied it mmeoes- 
sary to mention what was self-evident to him as the author. Hie 
first possibility is really more plausible, bat at any rate Colonel 
Warner's statement that ''The old air of 'Anacreon in Heaven' had 
been adapted to it [the poem] by the anUuH*" seems to come nearest 
the truth, though if a very fine distinction were to be made we should 
rather say that the poem was adapted by the author to the air, or at 
least to its poetic mate. 

One of the popular legends is that Key's poem with its music 
spread like wildfire beyond Baltimore, and in a short time became 
a national song. The popular mind seems to consider it a blemish, a 
reflection on the intrinsic merits of a song (or any oth^ woik of art) 
if it does not obtain immediate popularity, and writers who cater 
to the tastes and prejudices of the multitude do not hesitate to 
amputate the facts accordingly. ''The Star-Spangled Banner" 
rather gains than loses in merit if the silly anecdotes of its wildfire 
progress are not heeded, and if we adhere to what is still common 
knowledge among the older generations, namely, that "The Star- 
Spangled Banner" was not rushed to the front of our national songs 
until the civil war. Before that time its pn^ress as a national song 
had been steady, but comparatively slow, as anybody may see who 
follows its career through the American song collections. This 
statement in nowise interferes with the fact that Francis Scott Key 
put it too modestly if he " believed it to have been favorably received 
by the Baltimore public." It woidd be quite possible to trace with 
infinite patience the progress of "The Star-Spanned Banner" 
through the American song collections, but this report hardly calls 
for such a laborious undertaking. However, to illustrate the point 
raised above, one would find that "The Star-Spangled Banner" 
appears in such songsters as "The American Songster, New York," 
n. d.; "New American Songster, Philadelphia, 1817;" "Bird of 
Birds, New York, 1818;" "The Star-Spangled Banner, Wihnington, 
1816;" "The Songster's Magazine, New York, 1820;" "American 
Naval and Patriotic Songster, Baltimore, 1831;" but not in such as 
"The Songster's Companion, Brattleborough, Vt., 1815;" "The 
Songster's Miscellany, Philadelphia, 1817;" "The Songster's Museimi, 
Hartford, 1826." In other words, twenty years after its conception 
Key's "Star-Spangled Banner" was not yet so generally accepted as 
a national song as to necessitate insertion in every songster. 

Key's poem was accessible to the public as a broadside possibly as 
early as September 15, 1814. Here must be quoted what Admiral 
Preble said on page 725 of the second edition of his "History of our 


The Star-Spangled Banner. 29 

The Song on thia broadside was enclosed in an elliptical border composed of 
the common type ornament of the day. Around that bordsr, and a little distance 
from it, on a line of the same are the words, ''Bombardment of Fort McHenry." 
The letters of these words are wide apart, and each one surrounded by a circle 
of stars. Below the song and within the ellipsis, are the words "Written by 
Francis S. Key, of Georgetown, D. C." 

This description applies to the "Fac-simile of broadside as the 
song first appeared in print," contained in L. H. Diehnan's pamphlet 
"The Seventh Star," published at Baltimore by the board of public 
works for the Louisiana Purchase EJxposition, 1904. However, it 
may be pointed out by way of correction that merely the initial "F" 
and not the full name of Francis is printed, that we read M'Henry, 
not McHenry, that a rather pretty and effective ornamental outer 
border follows the shape of the broadside, and that the four comers 
contain additional ornamental designs. What arouses the curiosity 
of the historian most is that Key's authorship is npt withheld, that 
Admiral Preble does not mention this fact at all, that the title of the 
poem here is '' The Star-Spangled Banner" and that no tune is indicated. 

If Preble's description tallies with a broadside as facsimiled by 
Dielman, it absolutely differs from ''one of those first printed JuindbilW 
which, so Mrs. Shippen stated in her article, first was in possession of 
her grandfather. Judge Joseph Hopper Nicholson, then of his wife, 
after that in Mrs. Shippen's possession, and recently was acquired 
together with a Star-Spangled Banner autograph by Mr. Henry 
Walters, of Baltimore. The latter courteously granted permission to 
examine these treasures, and I found that his broadside (about 6} 
by 5) inches) is without any ornamental design whatsoever, does not 
mention Key's name at all, and does not bear any title except ''De- 
fence of Fort M'Henry." This is followed by the same historical 
note as appeared in the Baltimore American of September 21, 1814, 
then by the indication "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven," and lastly by 
practically the same text of the poem as it appears in the Judge 
Nicholson-Widow Nicholson-Mrs. Shippen-Mr. Walters autograph. 
The only differences, apart from the differences in interpxmctuation, 
etc., are these: 

(1) In the first stanza was printed the "Bombs" instead of the 

(2) In the second stanza the misprint "reflected new shines" 
instead of "reflected now shines." 

(3) In the broadside capital letters frequently appear where they 
are not foxmd in the autograph, f. i. "The Rocket's," "Land of the 
Free," "Home of the Brave." On the other hand, the autograph 
has "Coimtry" whereas this broadside has "coimtry." 

Here then are two broadsides, both of which are claimed to have 
belonged to that edition set up on the morning of September 15, 


80 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

1814. We are not permitted to accept Mrs. Shippen's claims for her 
broadside oflFhand) since her accoxmt is clearly a mixture of family 
tradition, personal opinion, and sediment from reading on the subject. 
The broadsides, to be authentic, must stand the test of analytical 
criticism, and if one, by this process, is eliminated then all reason- 
able scepticism will vanish from the other. 

The three observations called forth by the broadside championed 
by Preble and Dielman are curious indeed in view of the fact that the 
Baltimore American, when publishing Key's poem on September 21, 
1814, preceded by a brief historical note, did not print the title "The 
Star-Spangled Banner," but instead "Defence of Fort McHenry," 
did not mention Key by name at all, but added: "Tune: Anacreon 
in Heaven." Key's poem — and this is a fact hitherto rarely, if ever, 
pointed out — made its first appearance in an American songster in 
the very rare "National Songster, or, a collection of the most admired 
patriotic songs, on the brilliant victories achieved by the naval and 
military-heroes . . . First Hagerstown edition," Hagerstown [Md.], 
John Gruber and Daniel May, 18 14 on p. 30-31 xmder the title of 

"dbfbngb of fort m'henry. 

Tune: Anacreon In Heaven. 

Wrote by an American Gentleman [I], who was compelled to witness the bom- 
bardment of FortM'Hemy, onboard of a flag vessel at the mouth of the Patapeco." 

Evidently the compiler of the National Songster clipped Key's poem 
from the Baltimore American and did not use a copy of this broadside. 
If, as Mrs. Shippen insists (Pa. Mag. of Hist., 1901-2, pp. 427-428) 
her grandfather's broadside was "One of those first printed hand- 
bills," why was Key's name suppressed in the Baltimore American's 
accoimt after Judge Nicholson had permitted it to go on the handbill 
which he himself had ordered at the printing office? One might 
suspect that in view of the vindicative nature of the British it was 
deemed safer for Mr. Key to suppress the name of the author of " Their 
foul footsteps' pollution" in a paper of fairly healthy circulation, but 
this explanation is not plausible, because the historical note in the 
Baltimore American could have left no doubt of the offender's 
identity in the minds of British officers should they have been in a 
position to catch Key. Possibly Key's modesty would not permit 
disclosure of his authorship, but what could his modesty avail him, 
if the broadside with his name had already been favorably received 
by the public of Baltimore? And not merely this, we have the words 
of Mrs. Shippen : 

Judge Nicholson wrote a little piece that appears at the heading of the lines, 
above which he also wrote the ''name of the tune Anacreon in Heaven." 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 31 

Obviously ibis action of Judge Nicholson can not apply to the 
broadside which contains "no little piece" nor indication of the tune, 
but it does apply to the account in the Baltimore American. Hence it 
would have been Judge Nicholson himself who withheld Key's name 
from the newspapers after he had given it to the public in a broadside. 
Furthermore, the Baltimore American accoimt was bodily reprinted 
in the National Intelligencer September 27, 1814, under the same 
title "Defence of Fort M'Henry," and at the bottom of the anonymous 
poem appears the editorial note : " Whoever is the author of those lines 
they do equal honor to his principles and his talent!" Consequently, 
not even the editor of a paper printed at Washington, D. C, prac- 
tically Key's home, knew of his authorship as late as September 27. 
Indeed, the anonymous "gentleman" figures in the Baltimore 
American at least as late as October 19, 1814. There is another 
suspicious circumstance. It should have aroused surprise ere this 
that Samuel Sands, the apprentice, set up at a moment's notice such 
an elaborate ornamental handbill as described by Preble and fac- 
similed by Dielman. The boy must have had remarkably precocious 
artistic instincts indeed, and very rapid hands and eyes. But why 
did he refuse to follow copy; why are there several differences between 
his broadside and the so-called original manuscript? Thus one 
becomes convinced that this broadside is not and can not have been a 
copy of the one struck off before the publication in the Baltimore 
American, but a copy of a broadside published considerably after that 
date, when Key's authorship was no longer kept a secret, when his 
poem had changed — at least in print, the earliest manuscript extant 
has none — its title from "Defence of Fort McHenry" to "The Star- 
Spangled Banner," and when verbal differences in the text had com- 
menced to be quite frequent. The Preble-Dielman broadside thus 
being eliminated, only the Nicholson-Shippen-Walters broadside 
remains for serious consideration, and as far as I can see, it contains 
absolutely nothing to arouse our suspicion. In absence of proof to 
the contrary, it may indeed be called a copy, perhaps a unique copy, 
of the original broadside edition. 

We turn our attention to the whereabouts of the original manu- 
script of Key's poem. 

Mrs. Shippen writes in the article already quoted: 

Having heard several times of late that there are in existence several original 
copies, of the lines written on the night of September 12 [sic I], 1814 ... by 
Francis Scott Key . . . and as I am the fortunate possessor of the only document 
that could exist of these lines — the original manuecript — I will explain how it 
seems possible that there could be more than one . . . [follows a partly inaccu- 
rate account based on Taney] ... It is the hack of that old letter, unsigned, that 
Francis Scott Key (my great-uncle) gave to Judge Joseph Hopper Nicholson 

32 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

(my grandfather) that I poeeees, together with one of those ftr$t printed handbills 
. . . Judge Nicholson [seeing] that the lines given him by Francis Scott Key 
could be sung to that tune [to Anacreon in Heaven] and in all haste to give the 
lines as a song to the public, he thus marked it. I possess this rare original manu- 
script, kept carefully folded by his wife, Rebecca Lloyd Nicholson and taken 
from her i»ivate papers by myself and framed. . . . 

This is a clear-cut claim of possession of the original manuscript, 
and yet Mrs. Shippen herself undermines the claim by closing her 
interesting article thus: 

. . . The first piece of paper on which the lines he composed were written on 
the night of his arrival in Baltimore I have in my possession; the same that Mr. 
Key himself gave to Judge Nicholson. 

These statements slightly contradict each other, as a careful read- 
ing of Chief Justice Taney's account, on which Mrs. Shippen partly 
bases her claim, will prove. According to Taney, Francis Scott Key 
told him that — 

(1) He commenced it [the poem] on the deck of their vessel . . . 
that he had written some lines or brief notes that would aid him in 
calling them to mind, upon the back of a letter which he happened 
to have in his pocket; and for some of the lines, as he proceeded, 
he was obliged to rely altogether on his memory. 

(2) He finished it in the boat on his way to the shore. 

(3) He v)rote it out as it n/ow stands, at the hotel, on the night he 
reached Baltimore and immediately after he arrived. 

(4) On the next morning he took it to Judge Nicholson. 
Consequently, a distinction is here made between the autograph 

sketch of the poem commenced on the cartel vessel and finished on 
the back of a letter in the boat before reaching Baltimore, and a 
written out autograph copy of the sketch. It is the latter which he 
took to Judge Nicholson for his critical opinion, and, of course, not 
the sketch on the back of the letter. In the first quotation from her 
article Mrs. Shippen describes this sketch ; in the second quotation, 
the manuscript as written out after Key's arrival at Baltimore. 
These two different manuscripts she confuses, not realizing the dis- 
tinction implied in Chief Justice Taney's narrative. Hence she 
considered herself Judge Nicholson's heir to the original manuscript 
of "The Star-Spangled Banner," whereas she really possessed, and 
Mr. Henry Walters, of Baltimore, now possesses, not (he original 
manuscript, hut Key^s first dean copy of (he original manuscript, 
sketched and finished under such peculiar circumstances. What 
became of this sketch we do not know. The probabilities are that 
Key destroyed it after he had neatly written out his poem at the hotel. 
The Library of Congress is not in a position to inclose here for purpose 
of comparison and analysis a photographic facsimile of Key's manu- 
script, as now possessed by Mr. Walters, but fortunately a facsimile 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 88 

may be found in the Century Magazine, 1894, page 362, and in Diel- 
man's pamphlet ''Maryland, the Seventh Star." Nobody looking 
at these facsimiles or the original can concede that the latter has the 
appearance of a filled-in sketch. It is too neatly written for that, 
the lines are too symmetrically spaced and the whole manuscript 
contains practically only two corrections: In the first stanza Key 
wrote and then crossed out ''ihrough^' instead of "^ the dawn's early 
light," and in the third, " They have vxiah^d aiW instead of " Their 
blood has washed out*' The manuscript contains no signature, no 
title, nor indication of tune. This is mentioned particularly because 
Mrs. Shippen's article might convey the impression that the manu- 
script is ''thus marked." The visible effects of folding do not point 
at all to the "old letter" in Key's pocket, since Mrs. Shippen's 
manuscript had been "kept carefully folded" by Judge Nicholson's 

Unquestionably, the manuscript now at the Walters Gallery is the 
earliest extant of "The Star-Spangled Banner." In after years Key 
presented signed autograph copies to friends and others, but just 
how many such copies he made is not known. At any rate, it is not 
surprising that the existence of several autograph copies led to con- 
fusion as to the earliest, the incorrectly so-called original, copy. An 
attempt shall now be made to separate intelligently such copies as 
have come to my notice principally by way of Admiral Preble's 
several contradictory contributions to the subject. 

Charles Durang, in the Historical Magazine, 1864, pages 347-348, 
claimed that "the original draft, with its interlinations and amend- 
atory erasures, etc. was purchased by the late Gen. George Keim, 
of Reading, and I suppose his heirs have it now." 

Without the slightest hesitation Preble used this statement in his 
book "Our Flag" (1st ed., 1872, p. 495). In 1874 Preble wrote in 
his essay "Three Historical Flags" (New Engl. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 
pp. 39-40), that this particular copy was 

Presented by Mr. Key in 1842 to Gen. George Keim and is now in possession 
of his son Henry May Keim, Esq. of Reading, Penn. ... I have a photo- 
graphic copy of the authc^^raph in the possession of Mr. Keim. 

Retracting his former statement about the original draft, with its 
erasures, in a footnote on the same page, Preble states that his pho- 
tograph shows it to be " a fair copy, written out by Mr. Key, and I 
learn from Gen. Keim's son that the autograph was presented to 
his father by Mr. Key." 

A facsimile of this was made for the Baltimore Sanitary Fair in 
1864, so Mr. Keim informed Admiral Preble January 8, 1874 (see 
New Engl. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1877, pp. 29), but, if made, it cer- 
tainly was not included by Kennedy and Bliss in their "Autograph 

85480-09 3 

84 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

Leaves," as the Library of Congress copy of this work proves. Pre- 
ble gave the text of the Keun copy, though not in facsimile, in his 
essay, "Three Historic Flags" (1874). In the second edition of his 
"History of Our Flag" (1880) he then informed his readers that 
Gen. GcMorge Keim's copy had "since [been] presented to the Penn- 
sylvania Historical Society by his son." This statement is somewhat 
puzzling, because the text of the Keim copy quoted by Preble, 1874, 
the dedication "To Gen. Keim," and the undated signature "F. S. 
Key" are identical with those of a supposed "Star-Spangled Banner" 
autograph in possession of Mr. Robert A. Dobbin, of Baltimore, Md. 
When generously loaning this to the Library of Congress for exhi- 
bition purposes and granting us the privilege to reproduce it in fac- 
simile (see Appendix, Plate VII). Mr. Dobbin, under date of March 
24, 1909, wrote: 

Mr. Key was an intimate friend of Gen. Keim of Pennsylvania. On account 
of this intimacy and as a mark of the friendship which existed between them, 
Mr. Key gave this copy, which I have loaned you, to General Keim. You will 
note that Gen. Keim's name is in Mr. Key's himdwriting. 

Mr. Charles W. Keim, a son of General Keim, came into possession of this 
copy after the death of his &ther, and a few years before his own death presented 
it to my late wife, who was a granddaughter of Mr. Francis Scott Key. 

Mr. Dobbin apparently was not aware of the fact that he possessed 
a photograph, not an original autograph, the photograph even show- 
ing the marks of thumb tacks. Consequently, not he but the Penn- 
sylvania Historical Society is in the possession of the Keim copy, 
which, with its approximate date, 1842, is, of course, as far removed 
from the original draft with its erasures as is possible. It is here 
reproduced by permission of the society (see Appendix, Plate V). 

Benson John Lossing wrote in footnote (p. 956), in his Pictorial 
Fieldbook of the War of 1812, first edition, 1868: 

The fac-simile of the original manuscript of the first stanza of the "Star 
Spangled Banner," given on the opposite page, was first published, by permission 
of its owner (Mrs. Howard) daughter of the author [Key], in "Autograph Leaves 
of our Country's Authors,'' a volume edited by John P. Kennedy and Alexander 
Bliss for the Baltimore Sanitary Eair, 1864. 

Accepting Lossing's statement, Preble in his essay, '^ Three Historic 
Flags," 1874, credited Mrs. Charles Howard, of Baltimore, with the 
possession of this autograph. As the facsimile in the '' Autograph 
Leaves" shows, it bears the title ''The Star-Spangled Banner" and 
the signature "F. S. Key," but no dedication and no date. The 
handwriting has not the fimmess of youth, and it stands to reason 
that Key wrote this manuscript in late life. Admiral Preble had 
occasion in his essay, ''The Star-Spangled Banner," New England 
Historical and Genealogical Register, 1877, pages 28-31, to correct 
Lossing's statement of ownership, since Mrs. Howard wrote him under 
dateof April 25, 1874: 


The Star^Spangled Banner. 85 

I do not think I ever had an autograph of The Star-Spangled Banner. My 
father [F. S. Key] gave his children from the time they could speak, the habit of 
committing poetry to memory, and in that way only has the song been preserved 
to me. Except in one or two words, Mr. Keim's version, as you have it, is the 
one I have ever remembered. 

Though, therefore, Mrs. Howard disclaimed ownership of this par- 
ticular autograph, yet it must have existed and is, to judge by the 
facsimile, genuine. 

Another autograph of ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' was thus 
described by Preble in his book, "Our Flag," 1872: 

A copy of the poem in Key's own handwriting, a copy prepared many yean 
after its composition, and evidently in the exact language intended by its author 
(as it was presented by him to James Mahar, who for thirty years was the gardener 
of the executive mansion), was a few years since, exhibited in the window of 
Messrs. Phillip & Solomons, on Pennsylvania avenue, Washington. The identity 
of the handwriting was certified to by Judge Dunlop, Nicholas Gallon, Esq., 
Peter Force and others, all of whom were intimately acquainted with Mr. Key 
and perfectly familiar with his style of penmanship. In fact his style was so 
peculiar and uniform, that it would be almost impossible for anyone who had ever 
noticed it with ordinary care to be mistaken. 

This report Preble evidently took from a copy of the National 
Intelligencer, from which he further quoted "verbatim" the text of 
the Mahar autograph which evidently bore the title: ''The Star- 
Spangled Baimer" and the signature ''For Mr. Jas. Mahar, of Wash- 
ington city, Washington, June 7, 1842. From F. S. Key." 

In his essay, "Three Historic Flags," Preble merely added that the 
Mahar copy was exhibited at Washington "in 1843, after Mr. Key's 
death." The present whereabouts of the Mahar copy is unknown 

Finally, in his essay, "The Star-Spangled Banner," 1877 (already 
quoted above), Preble remarked of a copy, dated October 21, 1840: 

It was first published in fiic-simile in the American Historical and Literary Curi- 
ositiee (PI. LV) by John Jay Smith [Sec. Ser. N. Y. 1860, pi. 55] who stated the 
original was in the possession of Louis J. Cist. 

Preble enlivened his narrative by adding a reduced facsimile of this 
1840 copy, and he again used it in the second edition of his "Histoiy 
of Our Flag," 1880. From there it was reproduced by Miss Mary L. D. 
Ferris in the New England Magazine, 1890, for her article on "Our 
national songs " (pp. 483-504) . Another facsimile is in the possession 
of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, as Mr. E. M. Barton, 
the librarian, informed me. The American Antiquarian Society re- 
ceived it on October 21, 1875, from Maj. Albert H. Hoyt, then editor 
of the New England Historical and Qenealogical Register. The orig- 
inal seems to have disappeared until offered for sale as No. 273 in Stan. 
V. Henkel's catalogue of the Rogers collection of autograph letters, 
etc., 1895. The added facsimile shows absolute identity in date, 

86 The Star-Spangled Banner. 

signature, orthography, appearance, and eveiy other detail with the 
facsimile at Worcester. 

To sum up, it appears that, not counting the original draft, at least 
five copies of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Francis Scott Key's 
handwriting exist, or at least existed : 

(}) The Judge Nicholson-MiB. Shippen-Waltere copy, 1814. (Waltere.) 

(2) The Louis J. Cist copy, 1840. (Cist, present whereabouts unknown.) 

(3) The supposed Howard copy, ca. 1840. (Howard.) 

(4) The Gen. Keim-Pennsylvania Historical Soc. copy. (PA. Hist. Soc.) 

(5) The Mahar copy, 1842. (Mahar.) 

There may be other copies, but these five are sufficient for the pur- 
pose of showing the changes Francis Scott Key himself made in his 
poem. The different versions would, as often happens in such cases, 
be used by different compilers. In course of time verbal inaccuracies 
would creep from one song book into the other. Also the compilers 
themselves have sometimes felt justified in improving Key's text. 
The result of all this has been, of course, that gradually Key's text 
became unsettled. As early as 1872 Preble marked the verbal differ- 
ences between certain different versions, and since then surely the 
confusion has not decreased. Hence, very properly, the cry for an 
authoritative text has been raised. What should constitute such a 
text, whether one of Key's own version, or a combination of them, or 
any later "improved" version, it is not for me to say, though I may 
be permitted to remark that in my opinion there is no reason for going 
outside of Key's own intentions. At any rate, I do not consider it my 
duty to wade through endless song books in order to trace all the 
verbal inaccuracies and alterations of the text of ''The Star-Spangled 
Banner."** The comparison will be extensive enough for aU practical 
purposes if it be limited to Key's own five versions, to the earliest 
printed versions, and to the one in his collected poems. They will be 
distinguished from each other, where necessary, by the words written 
in parenthesis. These printed texts here compared with the earliest 
manuscript extant are: 

a In this connection part of the memorandum of Dr. A. R. Spofford, November 19, 
1907, is very instructive. He wrote: 

"A coUation of this authentic copy [i. e., the Cist copy], with several widely cir- 
culated collections of songs, shows numerous variations and omissions: Following is 
a statement of a few of these, with the number of discrepancies found in each: 

^'Nason (E). A Monogram [!] on our National Songs. Albany, 1869. (11 varia- 
tions from original, and one stanza omitted.) 
"Higgins (Edwin). The Star-Spangled Banner. Baltimore, 1898. (7 variations.) 
''Sousa (J. P.). National and Patriotic Airs of All Lands. Philadelphia, 1890. 
(14 variations, with a fifth stanza added, which was not written by Key.) 
"Bryant (W. C). Library of Poetry and Song. New York, 1880. (8 variatioDB.) 
"Dana (C. D.). Household Poetry. New York, 1859. (7 variations.) 
"Coates (H. T.). Fireside Encyclopoedia of Poetry. Philadelphia, 1879. (9 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 37 

(6) The WalteTB Broadside. (Broadaide I.) 

(7) The Pieble-Dielman Broadside. (Broadside II.) 

(8) Baltimore American, 1814. (Baltimore American.) 

(9) The *' National Songster." (National Songster.) 
(10) Key's Poems, publ. 1857. (Poems.) 

The comparison is based on the Walters text, without esthetic com- 
ment and taking the title of ''The Star-Spangled Banner" for granted. 
The words that differ are itaUcized. Differences in spelling and 
interpunctuation are disregarded. 

O say can you see by the dawn's early li^ht 

What so proudly we haiPd at the twili^t's last gleaming, 
Whose broad Btripes dc bright Btars through the perilous fight 
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaining? 
And the rocket's red glare, the bomb burstmg in air, 
Crave proof through the night that our flag was still there 
O say does that star spangled banner yet wave 
O'er the land of the free a the home of the brave? 

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep, 

Where the foe's haughty host in dread eilence reposes. 
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, 
As it fitfuUy blows, i^Z/ conceals, Ao// discloses? 

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam 
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream 
'Tis the star-spanffled banner— O long may it wave 
O'er the land of the free & the home of the bravel 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, 

That the havoc of war & the battle's confusion 
A home & a Country should leave us no more? 

Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution 
No refuge could save the hireling & slave 
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave 
O'er the land of the free & the home of the brave. 

thus be it ever when freemen shall stand 
* Between their lov'd Jurnie & the war*$ desolation! 
Blest with vict'ry & peace may the heav'n rescued land 

Praise the power that hath made & preserv'd us a nation! 
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just. 
And this be our motto — **In God is our Trust," 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave 
O'er the land of the free & the home of the brave. 

''Stedman (E. C). American Anthology. Boston, 1900. (5 variations.) 
''While some of these alterations from the author's manuscript may ^m unim- 
portant, others actually change the meaning of the lines, as in the second stanza, 
where Key wrote — 

' ' 'What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep 
"As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? ' 

"Hie second line is perverted into— 

" 'As It fitfuUy blows, now conceals, now discloses?' 

"In all except three of the reprints before noted this change occurs. 

"It is for the worse, for two reasons: 

"(1) It destro3rs the fine image of the wind flapping the flag so as to show and con- 
ceal alternately parts of the stars and stripes; while the substitution makes the breeze 
sometimes conceal the whole star-spangled banner. 

"(2) The substitution is bad literary form, since it twice usee the word 'now,' 
which the author has applied twice in the two lines immediately following." 

88 The Star-Spangled Banner. 


Te: Cist. 

By: Cist. Bright stars dc broad stripes: Cist. 
Clouds of the: Cist; Pa. Hist. Soc.; Howard; Mahar. 
Bombs: Broadside I and II; BaltimOTe Am.; Poems. 
Prom: Broadside II. 

That: Cist; Pa. Hist. Soc.; Howard: Poems; Now-now: Poems. 
On: Cist; Mahar. 

Are the foes that: Pa. Hist. Soc.; Howard. 

Are ihejoes who: Poems. 

That Host that: Cist. 

The foe thaf: Mahar. 
Sweepingly: Mahar. 
This: Mahar. 
His: Mahar. 
Arid: Broadside II. 
Foemen: Mahar. 

Homes: Baltimore Am.; Cist; Pa. Hist. Soc.; Howard; Mahar. 
War's: Mahar. 
long may it' Broadside II. 

Like other patriotic songs, ''The Star-Spangled Banner" has had 
its share of additional stanzas; that is, of verses suggested by the 
changing times, the changing spirit of the times, and sectional an- 
tagonism. On the other hand, at least one stanza often came to be 
omitted. It is the third, undoubtedly expressive of bitter sentiment 
against the English, as was natural and logical in 1814, but rather 
unnatural and illogical after we were again the friends of England. 
This apparent defect of Key's text for a national hymn, which should 
stand above party feeling and chauvinism, led to the composition of 
one of the two additional stanzas, which shall here be briefly con- 
sidered. Its origin was narrated to Preble in 1876 by Benjamin Rush 
in the following words printed by the Admiral in his essay on "The 
Star-Spangled Banner" (New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1877, p. 31): 

The drcumstances under which these additional stanzas to the Star-Spangled 
Banner first came to my hand were briefly adverted to in the Preface to my 
edition of my father's book, entitled "Recollections of the English and French 
Courts/' published in London in 1871, where I then was. The stanzas were also 
published; but that need not interfere in the least with your desire to insert them 
in the second edition of your History of the Flag, wherein I should say they 
would appropriately come in. The name of the author by whom they were com- 
posed, was George Spowers, Esq., and this has never been published. I think 
it eminently due to him now that his name should be given to the public, con- 
sidering not only the beauty but the admirable sentiments of the stanzas. He 
had seen in my hands a manuscript copy of the original song, and asked me to 
lend it to him, which I did. A day or two afterwards he returned it to me with 
these stanzas. I was quite a boy at the time, at school with my two brothers at 
Hampstead, near London, while my father was residing in London as minister of 
the United States. It must have been about the year 1824. 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 39 

Mr. Spowers's well-meant but objectionable stanza, because it, too, 
drags our national hymn into foreign politics, reads: 

But huflih'd be that straini They our Foes are no longer; 

Lo Britain the right hand of Friendship extends, 
And Albion's &tir Isle we behold witii affection 

The land of our Fathers — the land of our Friends I 

Long, long may we flourish^ Columbia and Britain, 
In amity still may your children be found. 
And the Star-Spangled Banner and Red Cross together 
Wave free and triumphant the wide world around I 

The best known of the additional stanzas is the one written by 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, as he informed Admiral Preble, April 14, 1872, 
at the request of a lady during our civil war, there being no verse 
alluding to treasonable attempt against the flag. According to 
Preble the stanza was first published in the Boston Evening Tran- 
script. Preble received a corrected and amended autograph of the 
stanza from Holmes, and this he reproduced in facsimile in the 
second edition of his famous work (p. 730). It reads: 

When our land is illumined with liberty's smile, 

If a foe from within strikes a blow at her glory, 
Down, down with the traitor that dares to deme 
Tne flag of the stars, and the page of her story t 
By the millions unchain^ 
Who their birth-right have eained, 
We will keep her bright blazon forever imstained; 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, 
While the lana of the free is the home of the brave. 

It has been noticed ere this that not only the text of The Star- 
Spangled Banner but its music is sung and played with noticeable 
differences. These occur both in the harmonization of the melody 
and in the melody itself. To trace the discrepancies in the harmoni- 
zation would hardly be profitable, since the harmonization of any 
melody will always be to a certain degree a matter of individual taste. 
Often many ways are possible, several equally good — ^i. e., equally 
appropriate — andseldom one the only proper one. The harmonization 
depends, of course, largely on the bass, and since the harmonization of 
a national song should be simple and easily grasped by the popular 
mind, there can not be much variance of opinion as to the bass. 
However, historical considerations will hardly be helpful in this 
direction. An authoritative harmonization is less a problem of 
history than of musical grammar, and authoritative it can be only for 
those who accept the harmonization recommended by a jury of 
musicians as the authoritative one for the persons imder their own 
musical jurisdiction. It is somewhat different with the melody. 
True, neither an act of Congress nor the recommendation of a board 
of musicians will stop the process of polishing and modification (either 
for better or worse) which takes place with all folk, traditional, and 
patriotic songs. Yet it is obvioud^y imperative for musical and other 

The Star-Spangled Banner. 



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Thus the so-called polishing process had begun within one genera- 
tion after the *'Sons of Harmony" had adopted ''To Anacreon in 
Heaven" as their constitutional song. How is their club melody 
sung to the words of **The Star-Spangled Banner" by Americans 
yoimg and old at the beginning of the twentieth century? For the 
purpose of comparison I have selected at random 12 recent song 
books and John Philip Sousa's ''National, patriotic, tjrpical airs of 
all lands" (1890), compiled "by authority" for use in the United 
States Navy. (Sousa.) If these few differ so widely in single bars, 
what discrepancies coidd be revealed if all the song books used in 
our coimtry were similarly compared! 

1. W. H. Aiken, Part songs for mixed voices for high schools, 1908. 

2. C. A. Boyle. School praise and song, 1903. (B) 

3. C. H. Famsworth, Songs for schools, 1906. (F) 

4. A. J. Gantvoort. School music reader, 1907 (G) 

5. B. Jepeon's New Standard Music Readers, Seventh year, 1904 (J) 

6. McLaughlin-Gilchrist, Fifth Music Reader, 1906. (M) 

7. Ripley-Tapper, Harmonic Fifth Reader, 1904. (R) 

8. E. Smith, Music Course, Book Four, 1908. (Sm) 

9. J. B. Shirley, Part songs for girPs voices, 1908 (Sh.) 

10. H. 0. Siefert, Choice songs, 1902 (Si) 

11. C. E. Whiting, The New public school music course. Third read^, 1909 (W) 

12. E. J. A. Zeiner, The High school song book, 1908. (Z) 


The Star-Spangled Banner. 

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''Hail Columbia" was written in 1798 by Joseph Hopkinson 
(1770-1842), whose prominence as jurist, combined with his author- 
ship of ''Hail Columbia/' has won him a place in biographical 
encyclopaedias. The poet himself has described the circumstances 
which led to the composition of his poem in a letter written August 
24, 1840, to Rev. Rujfus W. Qriswold and printed in The Wyoming 
Bard, Wilkesbarre, Pa. : 

"Hail Columbia'' was written in the mimmer ci 1798, when war with France 
was thought to be inevitable. Congress was then in session in Philadelphia, 
debating upon that important subject, and acts of hostility had actually taken 
place. The contest between England and France was raging, and the people 
of the United States were divided into parties for the one side or the other, some 
thinking that policy and duty required us to espouse the cause of "republican 
France," as she was called, while others were for connecting ourselves with Eng- 
land, under the belief that she was the great preservative power of good principles 
and safe government. The violation of our rights by both belligerents was forcing 
us from l^e just and wise policy of President Washington, which was to do equal 
justice to both but to part with neither, and to preserve an honest and strict 
neutrality between them. The prospect of a rupture with France was exceed- 
ingly offensive to the portion of the people who espoused her cause, and the 
violence of the spirit of party has never risen higher, I think not so high, in our 
country, as it did at that time upon that question. The theatre was then open 
in our city. A young man belonging to it, whose talent was high as a singer, was 
about to take a benefit. I had known him when he was at school. On this ac- 
quaintance he called on me one Saturday afternoon, his benefit being annoimced 
for the following Monday. His prospects were very disheartening; but he said 
that if he could get a patriotic song adapted to "the President's March " he did 
not doubt of a full house; that the poets of the theatrical corps had been trying 
to accomplish it, but had not succeeded. I told him I would try what I could 
do for him. He came the next afternoon, and the song, such as it is, was ready 
for him. The object of the author was to get up an American spirit which should 
be independent of, and above the interests, passion and policy of both belliger- 
ents, and look and feel exclusively for our honour and rights. No allusion is 
made to France or England, or the quarrel between them, or to the question which 
was most in fault in their treatment of us. Of course the song found favour with 
both parties, for both were American, at least neither could disown the sentiments 
and feelings it indicated. Such is the history of this song, which has endured 
infinitely beyond the expectation of the author, as it is beyond any merit it can 
boast of except that of being truly and exclusively patriotic in its sentiment and 

a Revised and enlarged from my essay "Critical notes on the origin of 'Hail Colum- 
bia,' " in the Sammelb&nde d. I. M. G., 1901, volume 3, p. 139-166. 


44 Hail Columbia. 

The young man who was about to take a benefit was Gilbert Fox, 
to the talents of whom Charles Durang, the historian of the Phila- 
delphia stage, does not pay a very high tribute. If we believe 
Durang, it was the misfortime of Fox to have ''created Hail Colum- 
bia/' His friends and admirers became so numerous that his health, 
and accordingly his career, were ruined by the excessive demands of 

The benefit with which the tragedy of his life began, but which 
made his name famous ever since, was thus advertised in the Porcu- 
pine Gazette, April 24, 1798: 

Mr. Fox's Nig^t. On Wednesday Evening, April 25. By Desire wiU be pre- 
sented (for the second time in America) a Hay, interspersed with Songs, in three 
Acts, called Th$ Italian Monk .... afto* which an entire New Song (written 
by a Citiien of Philadelphia) to the tune of the ''President's March " will be sung 
by Mr. Fox; accompanied by the Full Band and the following Grand Chorus: 

Firm united let us be 
Rallying around our Liber^ 
As a band of brothers join'd 
Peace and Safety we shall findl 

It was a clever bit of advertising to have inserted the -words of the 
''grand chorus." Containing no party allusions they aroused the 
public curiosity as to the tendency of the song, and consequently 
Mr. Fox reaped a golden harvest. The song met with immediate 
success. It was redemanded nearly a dozen times on that memorable 
evening and had to be sung by Mr. Fox ''for the second time by 
particidar desire" on Friday, the next play night, and again on Satur- 
day imder the name of a "New Federal Song." On Monday a Mr. 
Sully b^ged "leave to acquaint his friends and the public that the 
'New Federal Song' to the time of the President's March" woxild be 
given ' ' among the Variety of Entertainments performed at Rickett's 
Circus this Evening for his Benefit." 

The newspapers and meigazines helped to spread the popidarity 
of the song. It appeared, for instance, in the Porcupine Gazette 
for Saturday, April 28, as a "song," in the April number of the 
Philadelphia Magazine as a "patriotic song," and as early as May 7 
in the Connecticut Courant as "song." 

But it seemed at first as if "Hail Columbia," notwithstanding its 
neutral spirit, would become more a political than a national song, 
for Cobbett's Porcupine Gazette entered on its behalf into a passion- 
ate controversy with Bache and Callender's Aurora and General 
Advertiser. Thus Cobbett violently attacked his political antfiigonists 
on Friday, April 27, under the heading "Bache and Callender:" 

It is not often that I disgust my readers with extracts from the vile paper these 
fellows print, but that of this morning contains several things that merit to be 

Hail Columbia. 46 

The Theatre. For some days past, the Anglo-Monarchical party have appeared 
at the theatre in full triumph — and the President's march and other aristocratic 
tunes have been loudly vociferated for, and vehemently applauded. On Wednes- 
day evening the admirers of British tyranny assembled in consequence of the 
managers having announced in the bills of the day that there would be given a 
patriotic song to the tune of the President's March, all the British Merchants, 
British Agents, and many of our Gongreas tories, attended to do honour to the 
occasion. When the wielied for song came, which contained, amidst the most 
ridiculous bombast, the vilest adulation to the anglo-monarchical party, and the 
two Presidents, the extacy of the party knew no bounds, they encored, they 
shouted, they became Mad as the Priestress of the Delphic God. 

Cobbett adds: 

This circumstance relative to the theatre, must have given a rude shock to the 
brain of the few remaining Democrats. It is a lie to say that the song is an eulo- 
gium on England or on Monarchy. It shall have a place in this Gazette to-morrow 
and in the meantime, to satisfy my distant readers that the change of its being in 
praise of the English is &dse, I need only to observe, that it abounds in Eulogiums 
on the men, who planned and affected the American Revolution 1 

The public took Cobbett's side, and the song gained rapidly in 
favor. It was sung and whistled on the streets, and soon no public 
entertainment was considered as satisfactory without it. To quote 
from McKoy's reminiscences in Poulson's American Daily Adver- 
tiser for January 13, 1829: "Such was the popularity of this song 
that very frequently has Mr. Gillingham, leader of the band, been 
forced to come to a full stop in the foreign music he had arranged 
for the evening by the deafening calls for this march, or song to this 

Hardly a week had passed since Mr. Fox's night, when another 
Thespian introduced the song in New York. But already the rather 
vague title of "New Federal Song" had been changed into that of 
"Hail Columbia.'' 

Cobbett writes on Thursday, May 3 : 

The following is part of an advertisement of the Entertainment for the last 
Evening at the theatre New York. 

End of the Play, Mr. Williamson will sing a new Patriotic Song, called ''Hail 
Columbia: " Death or Liberty. Received in Philadelphia with more reiterated 
Plaudits than were perhaps ever witnessed in a theatre. 

When Mr. Williamson again sang "Hail Columbia" "at the End 
of the Play'* on May 18***** "Death or Liberty" was dropped, and 
ever since the song has been known as "Hail Columbia." 

Mr. Williamson seems to have been much in vogue as a singer of 
patriotic songs. When assisting Mr. Chalmers in his "Readings and 
Recitations" at Oeller's Room in Philadelphia on Jime 15^ *, he 
entertained the audience with "The Boston Patriotic Song: Adams 

a Advertisement in the New York Gazette May 15. 
b Advertisement in Porcupine Gazette June 13. 

46 Hail Columbia. 

and liberty," the ''New York Federal Song: Washington and the 
Constitution," and again '*Hail Columbia." When engaged for the 
"Grand Concert" at Ranelagh (Jarden in New York for Jxily 4*** he 
sang the same three songs, and, we doubt not, much to the delight 
of a patriotic audience. 

Indeed the success of "Hail Columbia" was "inmiediate and 
emphatic" (Elson). Far beyond the most sanguine expectations of 
Joseph Hopkinson! Including his song in a letter directed to Oeorge 
Washington imder date of May 9, 1798, he wrote: ** 

As to the song it was a hasty composition, and can pretend to very little ex- 
trinsic merit — yet I believe its public reception has at least equalled any thing 
of the kind. The theatres here [Phila.] and at New York have resounded with 
it night after night; and men and boys in the streets sing it as they go. 

Evidently not much to the delight of some reporter who calls it 
(in the Centinel of Freedom, Newark, N. J., July 9, 1799) the "old 
threadwom song of Hail Coliunbia." 

As might be expected, the words of "Hail Colimibia," together 
with the music of the President's March, were published shortly after 
the first public performance of the song. In fact only two days had 
elapsed when Benjamin Carr inserted the following advertisement: ^ 

On Monday Afternoon will be published at Garr's Musical Repository, the very 
favourite New Federal Song, Written to the tune of the President's March, By 
J. Hopkinson, Esq. And sung by Mr. Fox, at the New Theatre with great 
applause, ornamented with a very elegant Portrait of the President [scil. John 

No copy of this original edition of ''Hail Columbia" has come to 
light. If Carr published it at all with Adams's portrait, he probably, 
according to his custom, added his imprint. This leads me to now 
believe, contrary to my remarks on former occasions, that the edition 
which is in Mr. Louis C. Elson's possession and which he reproduced 
in facsimile in his books ''The National Music of America" (1900) and 
"History of American Music" (1904) is not identical with Carr's 
original edition, but of a trifle later date. Mr. Elson's unique copy 
shows the American eagle instead of Adams's portrait and it bears no 
imprint. These differences are, of course, not conclusive, since Carr 
may have been unable to secure a suitable pictiu'e, yet this difference, 
together with the fact that he must have had an edition in the press and 
that he was not in the habit of suppressing his imprint, compels us to 
assume Carr's edition and the one in Mr. Elson's possession not to 
have been identical imtil the identity is proven. The title of Mr. 
Elson's copy reads: 

'*The Favorite New Federal Song [American eagle] Adopted to the Presidents 
March. Sung by Mr. Fox- Written by J. Hopkinson Esqr." 

aComp. William S. Baker's ''Washington after the Revolution," 1898. 
b Comp. Porcupine Gazette for Friday 27. 

Hail Columbia. 47 

Filling two tinpaged inside pages of a musical sheet, it was arranged 
in C major **for the voice, pianoforte, guittar and clarinett" and this 
arrangement was followed, as was customary, by an arrangement (in 
D major) for the flute or violin. Among *'new music. Just pub- 
lished" the Federal Gazette, Baltimore, on Jime 25, 1708, advertised 
" The President's March," '' Hail Columbia, happy land." This may 
have been a special Baltimore edition by Joseph Carr, or it may sim- 
ply have referred to Benjamin Carr's Philadelphia edition, or to the 
one in Mr. Elson's possession, or to: 

The President's March, a new Federal Song. Published by G. Willig, Marketstreet, 
No. 185. Phila. 

A copy of this is contained in a miscellaneous volume of ''Battles 
and marches" at the Ridgway branch of the Library Company of 
Philadelphia, and is here reproduced in facsimile by permission. (See 
Appendix, Plates VII-VIII.) Willig published at the above address, 
as we know from the city directories, between 1798 and 1803, but the 
adjective new in the title surely suggests the year 1798. Under the 
title of ''Hail Columbia" the song was first advertised in August, 
1798, among "patriotic and other favorite songs" as ''just published 
and for sale at Wm. Howe's wholesale and retail warehouse, 320 Pearl 
street, " New York, but as Howe is merely known as dealer in mus}c, 
not as a music printer or music publisher, it stands to reason that he 
merely advertised for sale one or more of the editions so far published. 

All these early editions contained the words and the music. The 
text without music (8** 6 p.), of which a copy is in New York Public 
Library, was published at Philadelphia under the title of — 

Song adapted to the President's niarch sung at the Theatre by Mr. Fox, at his benefit. 
Compoeed by Joseph Hopkinson, Esq. Printed by J. Ormrod, 41, Chestnut 

Thus ''Hail Columbia" rapidly became a national song regardless 
of its bombastic and prosaic metaphors. Patriotic songs had been 
written in America showing this prevailing f aidt of the times to a lesser 
degree, and better songs followed — among the latter, however, cer- 
tainly not the "New Hail Coliunbia," which begins — 

Lol I quit my native skies — 
To armsl my patriot sons arise 

(see p. 45 of James J. Wilson's National Song Book, Trenton, 1813), 
but none, except Key's ''Star- Spangled Banner" and Reverend 
Smith's ''America" were destined to rival the popularity of "Hail 
Columbia" for almost a century. But as "America" was written to 
the time of "God Save the Eling" and the "Star-Spangled Banner" 
to the drinking song " To Anacreon in Heaven," at least " Hail Colum- 
bia" may claim the distinction in the history of our early national 
songs of being in poetry and music a product of oiu* soil. 

48 Hail Columbia. 

W. T. R. Saffell in his book ''Hail Columbia, the Flag, and Yankee 
Doodle Dandy/' Baltimore, 1864, when describing the allegorical- 
political musical entertainment of The Temple of Minerva, which was 
performed at Philadelphia in 1781, points out the two lines: ''Hail 
Columbia's godlike son" and "Fill the golden trump of fame." He 
adds : " Do not ' Hail Columbia,' the ' trump of fame,' and the measure 
of the chorus, appear to carry Fayles back from 1789 to 1781, for his 
music, and Hopkinson from 1798 to the same scene and the same year 
for his words? Who can say but our immortal 'Hail Columbia' had 
its real origin in 'The Temple of Minerva,' or in the surrender of Com- 
walUs, when 'Magog among the nations' arose from his lair at York- 
town and shook, in the fury of his power, the insurgent world beneath 
him ? May not Fayles have touched a key in the ' Temple of Minerva ' 
in 1781 y and revived the sound in 1789? May not the eye of Hopkin- 
son in 1798 have fallen upon the 'Columbian Pamassiad' of 1787, 
when the 'Temple of Minerva' first entered the great highway of 
history? But none the less glory for Mr. Hopkinson." The eye of 
Joseph Hopkinson might indeed have fallen upon the C-olumbian 
Pamassiad in the Columbian Magazine (Philadelphia) for April, 1787, 
where the "Temple of Minerva" was printed, but "Fayles" certainly 
did not "touch a key" in this little play. And this for the very 
simple reason that the "Oratorio" (sic) "was composed and set to 
Music by a gentleman" who signed himself H. With a little critical 
thought Mr. Saffell might have suspected Francis Hopkinson to have 
been the author and composer of "The Temple of Minerva," and so 
he was indeed, as my monograph on "Francis Hopkinson and James 
Lyon" (1905) has established beyond doubt. Consequently Mr. Saf- 
fell's effort to trace the "President's March" back to 1781, by way of 
"The Temple of Minerva," if I understand his florid fantasies at all, 
is demolished by plain historical facts. It is different with his sug- 
gestion that the author of "Hail Columbia" may have been influenced 
by "The Temple of Minerva." Joseph Hopkinson of course knew 
the poetry of his father and probably shared the admiration of many 
contemporaries for it. Hence it was quite natural for him to remem- 
ber the two lines quoted above and to unconsciously borrow from 
them for his own poem. This process was quite probable in his own 
peculiar case, yet we should be careful not to apply too zealously com- 
parative philological text-criticism to the patriotic songs of those days 
in order to trace the influence exercised by one poet upon the other. 
Such apostrophes as "Hail Columbia" were frequently used by the 
poet-politicians and indeed their patriotic effusions have many stock 
phrases in common. Similar sentiments were then continually 
expressed in similar methaphors just as they are to-day. Here, for 
instance, is the first stanza of a poem which Joseph Hopkinson might 

Hail Columbia. 49 

also have read in his youth and parts of which might have lingered in 
his memory. It was printed in the Federal Gazette, June 23, 1789, 
and reads : 


For the Anniversary of American Independence 

To the tune of " Rule Britannia " 

Ye Friends to this auspicious day I 

Come join the federal, festive band 
And all Columbia — ^homaee pay 

To him who freed uiy happy land. 

Hail Columbia! Columbia! Oenius haU! 
Freedom ever shall prevail. 

National songs are meant to be simg. The best and most heart- 
stirring patriotic poems will soon be forgotten if not supported by a 
melody which catches the public ear. It might be said that Hopkin- 
son's **Hail Colimibia" would have conquered the nation with any of 
the popular times of the time, but the fact remains that its immediate 
and lasting success was actually obtained with the aid of the ''Pres- 
ident's March." Not all the honor, therefore, is due to Joseph Hop- 
kinson. We musicians are entitled to claim some of the lamrels for 
the composer of the time which, no matter how little its musical 
value may be, has become immortal together with the words of ''Hail 

Until recently the musical origin of "Hail Columbia" was as 
obsciu*e as its literary history was clear. Not that the composer ha.d 
been treated unkindly by the historians. They tried to lift the veil 
which covered his name, but their accounts were so contradictory 
that one claim stood in the way of the other. A methodical analysis 
of the contradictory accounts left the problem open, and it became 
probable that merely an accidental find would enable us to solve it. 

The reader will have noticed that Hopkinson mentions the "Presi- 
dent's March" in his letter without any allusion to its composer. 
The same applies to Durang in his "History of the Philadelphia 
Stage" (1864-65) to Dunlap's "History of the American Theatre" 
(1823), to Wilson's "National Song Book" (1813), to McCarty's 
"Songs, Odes and other Poems on National Subjects" (1842), and to 
A. G. Emerick's "Songs for the People" (1848). 

The critical investigations began 1859, with an anonymous article 
in Dawson's "Historical Magazine" (Vol. Ill, p. 23): 

The President's liiarch was composed by a Professor Pfyle, and was played at 
Trentonbridge when Washington passed over on his way to New York to his 
inauguration. This information I obtained from one of the performers, confirmed 
afterwards by a son of said Pfyle. The song ''Hail Columbia" was written to 
the music during the elder Adam's administration, by Judge Hopkinson, and 

85480-09 i 


60 Hail Columbia. 

was fiiBt sung by Mr. Fox, a popular smger of the day. I well remember being 
present at the first introduction of it at the Holiday street theatre, amid the clap- 
ping of hands and hisFdngH of the antagonistic parties. Black cockades were 
worn in those days. 

I have also reason to believe that the "Washington March" generally known 
by that title — I mean the one in key of G major, was composed by Uie Hon. 
FVands Hopkinson, senior, having seen it in a manuscript book of his, in his 

own handwriting among others of his known compositions. 

J. C. 

The above was published in the ''Baltimore Clipper'' in 1841, by a person who 
well understood the subject. 

Evidently this person was J. C, whose account was simply reprinted 
from the Baltimore Clipper. 

A somewhat different version appears on page 368 of the ''Recol- 
lections and Private Memoirs of Washington/' by his adopted son 
George Washington Parke Custis, edited by Benson J. Lossing in 

In New York the play bill was headed "By particular Desire'' when it was 
announced that the president would attend. On those nights the house would 
be crowded from top to bottom, as many to see the hero as the play. Upon the 
president's entering the stage box with his family, 'the orchestra would strike up 
"The President's March" (now Hail Colimibia) composed by a German named 
Feyles, in '89, in contradistinction, to the march of the Revolution, called "Wash- 
ington's March". 

The audience applauded on the entrance of the president, but the pit and gal- 
lery were so truly despotic in the early days of the republic, that so soon as "Hail 
Columbia" had ceased, "Washington's March" was called for by the deafening 
din of a hundred voices at once, and upon its being played, three hearty cheers 
would rock the building to its base. 

In the following year, 1861, the "Historical Magazine," which 
took a vivid interest in the history of our national songs, brought 
out an article totally contradicting the two already quoted. The 
article — ^in Volume V, 280, page 281 — ^is headed "Origin of Hail 
Columbia" and reads : 

In 1829, William Mc Eoy of Philadelphia, under the signature ''Lang Syne", 
published in Poulson's Daily Advertiser an account of the origin of the song 
"Hail Columbia", which was set to the music of ''The President's March "... 
Mr. Mc Key's reminiscences have not, we believe, been reprinted since they were 
originally published. The article b as follows: 

The seat of the Federal Government of the thirteen United States being 
removed to Philadelphia, and in honour of the new president, Washington, 
then residing at No. 190 High street, the march, ever since known as "the 
President's March", was composed by a German teacher of music, in this city, 
named Roth, or Roat, designated familiarly by those who knew him as "Old 
Boat". He taught those of his pupils who preferred the flute, to give to that 
instrument the additional sound of a drone, while playing in imitation of a 
bagpipe. His residence was at one time in that row of houses standing back 
from Fifth, above Race street, at the time known as "The Fourteen Chimneys", 
some of which are still visible in the rear ground, north eastward of Mayer's 

Hail Columbia. 51 

church. In his person he was of the middle size and height. His face was truly 
German in expression, dark grey eyes, and bushy eyebrows, round, pointed 
nose, prominent lips, and parted chin. He took snuff immoderately, having 
his vest and ru£9es usually well sprinkled with grains of rappee. He was con- 
sidered as excentric, and a kind of droll. He was well known traditionally, 
at the Samson and Lion, in Crown street, where it seems his company, in the 
olden time, was always a welcome to the pewter-pint customers, gathered there 
at their pipes and beer, while listening to his facetious tales and anecdotes, 
without number, of high-life about town, and of the players — Nick Hammond, 
Miss Tuke, Hodgkinson, Mrs. Pownall, and Jack Martin, of the old theatre in 
South wark. This said "President's March'' by Boat, the popular songs of 
Markoe, the ''city poet," in particular the one called "The Tailor Done over" 
and the beautiful air of "Dans Votre Lit" which had been rendered popular 
by its being exquisitely sung at the time, by Wools, of the Old American Com- 
pany, were sung and whistled by every one who felt freedom (of mind) to whistle 
and to sing . . . 

Public opinion having . . . released itself suddenly from a passion for 
French Revolutionary music and song, experienced a vacuum in that parti- 
cular, which was immediately supplied by the new national American song 
of "Hail Columbia happy Land" written in '98 by Joseph Hopkinson, Esq. 
of this city, and the measure adapted by him, very judiciously, to the almost 
forgotten " President's March". Ever since 1798, the song of "Hail Columbia" 
by Joseph Hopkinson, and the "President's March" by Johannes Boat, being 
indiscriminately called for, have become, in a manner, synonymous to the 
public ear and understanding when they are actually and totally distinct in 
their origin, as above mentioned. 

Following the clue given in this reprint, I found the original article 
in Poulson's American Daily Advertiser for Tuesday, January 13, 1829, 
under the heading '' President's March.'' Though this article ap- 
pears anonymous, there can be no doubt of Mr. McKoy having been 
the author, for we know from "Watson's Annals of Philadelphia" 
that it was he who wrote the series of articles on olden times in 
Philadelphia, published in said paper during the years 1828 and 1829 
and mostly signed "Auld Lang Syne." 

In the same year that this gentleman's accoimt was reprinted in the 
Historical Magazine, Richard Grant White's ''National Hymns, How 
They Are Written and How They Are Not Written," left the press. 
What this author has to say on the origin of the "President's March" 
is contained in a footnote on page 22: 

. . . The air to which Hopkinson wrote ''Hail Columbia" was a march written 
by a German band master on occasion of a visit of Washington, when President, 
to the old John Street Theatre in New York. 

A similar view as to the musical origin of the song is held by W. T. R. 
Saffell in his book "Hail Columbia, the Flag, and Yankee Doodle 
Dandy, Baltimore, 1864." He says, on page 53: 

A piece of music set for the harpsichord, entitled the ''President's March " was 
composed in 1789, by a German named Fayles, on the occasion of Washington's 
first visit to a theatre in New York. 


62 Hail Columbia. 

Rev. Elias Nason, on page 33 of his monograph, ''A Monogramm on 
Our National Song . . . 1860/' is equally meager, equally omniscient, 
and equally opposed to giving authorities when he writes: 

... on Waahington's first attendance at the theatre in New York, 1789, a 
German by the name of Fyles composed a tune to take place of ''Washington's 
March/' christening it with the name of ''President's March." 

Some years later, in 1872, Benson J. Lossing reprinted in Volume 
I (pp. 550-554) of his ''American Historical Record" a paper on 
''The Star-Spangled Banner and National Airs," which the Hon. 
Stephan Salisbiuy had read before the American Antiquarian Society, 
October 21, 1872. In regard to "Hail Colimibia" this author says: 

Poulson's Advertiser of 1829 mentions that this song was set to the music of 
"the President's March" by Johannes Roth, a German music teacher in that 
city. And the Historical Magazine, vol.3, page 23, quotes from the Baltimore 
Clipper of 1841 that the "President's March" was composed by Professor Phyla 
of Philadelphia, and was played at Trenton in 1789, when Washington passed over 
to New York to be inaugurated, as it was stated by a son of Professor Phyla, who 
was one of the performers. 

Rear-Admiral George Henry Preble, in his "History of the Flag of 
the United States; Boston, 1880," wrote: 

The "President's March" was a popular air, and the adaptation easy. It was 
composed in honour of President Washington, then residing at No. 190 High Street 
Philadelphia, by a teacher of music, named Roth, a or Roat, familiarly known 
as "Old Roat." He was considered as an excentric, and kind of a droll, and 
took snuff immoderately. Philip Roth, teacher of music, described as living at 
25 Crown Street, whose name appears in all the Philadelphia directories from 
1791 to 1799, inclusive, was probably the author of the march. 

According to his son, who asserted he was one of the performers, the march was 
composed by Professor Phyla, of Philadelphia, and was played at Trenton, in 
1789, when Washington passed over to New York to be inaugurated. & 

o Poulson's Advertiser 1829. 

b Historical Magazine, Volume III, 23. 
Baltimore GUpper, 1841. 

American Historical Record Volume I, 53. Hon. S. Salisbury's paper before 
the American Antiquarian Society 1872. 

John Bach McMaster, the celebrated author of ^'A History of the 
People of the United States; New York," has something to say on 
the subject in Volume I, on pages 564-566: 

At the John street theatre in New York, ' ' in a box adorned with fitting emblems, 
the President was to be seen much oltener than many of the citizens approved. 
On such occasions the 'President's March' was always played. It had been 
composed by Phyles, the leader of the few violins and drums that passed for the 
orchestra, and played for the first time on Trenton Bridge as Washington rode 
over on his way to be inaugurated. The air had a martial ring that caught th.e 
ear of the multitude, soon became popular as Washington's March, and wlien 
Adams was President, in a moment of great party excitement Judge Hopkinson 
wrote and adapted to it the feonous lines beginning 'Hail Columbia.' " 

Hail Columbia. 53 

Mary L. D. Ferris, in a clever but superficial causerie on ''Our 

National Songs'' in the New England Magazine, new series, July, 

1890 (pp. 483-604), expresses her opinion briefly, thus: 

The music of Hail Columbia was composed in 1789, one hundred years ago, 
by Professor Fhylo of Philadelphia, and played at Trenton, when Washington 
was en route to New York to be inaugurated. The tune was originally caJled 
the President's March. 

In the same year (1800) appeared John PhiUp Sousa's semiofficial 
work, ''National, Patriotic, and Typical Airs of Ail Lands with Copious 
Notes, compiled by order and for use of the Navy Department." Cyf 
the ''President's March'' Sousa remarks: 

On the occasion of Gen. Washington's attendance at the John St. Theatre in 
New York, in 1789, a German named Fyles, who was leader of the orchestra, 
composed a piece in compliment of him and called it the ** President's March, '* 
which soon became a popular ^vorite. 

In the first of a series of articles on our national songs, published 
1897, April 29, in the Independent, E. Irenaeus Stevenson maintains 
that "Hail Columbia'^ is rather a "personal'' than a national song, 
having been, as he imagines, written in honor of George Washington. 
But this is not his only blunder, for he not even knew that the "Wash- 
ington's March" and the "President's March" were two entirely 
different pieces. 

The very air to the words confirms one in wishing that " Hail Columbia " would 
remain solely an artless souvenir belonging to Washington . For the tune was not 
written to Judge Hopkinson's words. It was a little instrumental march, called 
"Washington's March," of vast vogue circa 1797, a march composed in honour 
of the first President by a German musician named Fhazles, Phylz, Phyla, or 
P&dz, of New York. Phazlee looked after musical matters in the old theatre on 
John Street; and apparently he really wrote, not imported, the tune. Judge 
Hopldnson fitted to it the address to Washington, in 1798. 

When George Washington, on Sunday, May 27, 1798, acknowledged 
the receipt of "Hail Columbia" sent to him by Joseph Hopkinson 
on May 0, he " offered an absence for more than eight days from home 
as an apolc^y for . . . not giving ... an earUer acknowledg- 
ment." The poUte note has been reprinted by William S. Baker in 
his work already quoted. Baker adds the following editorial foot- 

The song referred to in the above quoted letter was the national air, '' Hail 
Columbia," the words of which were written by Joseph Hopkinson and adapted 
to the music of the " President's March '' composed in 1789 by a German named 
Feyles, who at the time was the leader of the orchestra at the John Street Theatre 
in New York. 

A similar version appears in S. J. Adair FitzGerald's Stories of 
Famous Songs. London, 1897, on pfiige 100: 

The music was taken from a piece, called ''The President's March," which 
had seen the light ten years previously. It was composed by a German named 
Fyles on some special visit of Washington's to the John Street Theatre, New York. 

54 Hail Columbia. 

Col. Nicholas Smith in his ''Stories of Great National Songs/' 
Milwaukee, 1899, becomes involuntarily humorous, when saying (on 
p. 41): 

The ''Preflident'B March'* was compoeed in 1789 by a German profeaBor in 
Philadelphia, named Phylo, alias Feyles, alias Thyla, alias Phyla, alias Roth, 
and was first played at TrenUm when Washington was on his way to New Ycnrk 
to be inaugurated president. 

The few lines which Howard Futhey Brinton says to the subject in 
his ''Patriotic Songs of the American People," New Haven, 1900, 
may also find a place here: 

Of the then current tunes none caught the {wpnlar £ancy more than the '' Presi- 
dent's March/' which had been composed in 1789 by a German named Feyles, 
in honour of General Washington. 

Louis C. Elson is the last writer whom I have to quote. In his 
widespread work "The National Music of America and its Sources, 
Boston, 1900,'' we read (on pp. 167-159) a very much more elaborate 
accoimt than the last ones mentioned: 

... it is definitely known that the composition was written in 1789, and that 
it was called "The President's March." Regarding its first performance and 
its composer there is some doubt. William McwKoy in "Poulson's Advertiser" 
for 1829 states that the march was composed by a Gennan musician in Phila- 
delphia, named Johannes Roth. He is also called ''Roat" and "Old Roat" in 
some accounts. That there was a Philip Roth living in Philadelphia at about 
this time may be easUy proved, for his name is found in the city directories from 
1791 to 1799.a He appears as "Roth, Philip, teacher of music» 25 Crown St." 
Washington at this time was a fellow citisen of this musician for he lived at 190 
Hig^ Street, Philadelphia. 

But there is another claimant to the work. There was also in Philadelphia 
at this time a Gennan musician, whose name is spelled in many different ways 
by the commentators. He is caUed " Hiyla", " Philo", " Pthylo " and " Pfyles " 
by various authors. None of these seems like a German name, but it is possible 
that the actual name may have been Pfeil.^ This gentleman of doubtful cog- 
nomen claims the authorship of the march in question, or rather his son has 
claimed it for him. The march is also claimed by this son to have been first 
played on Trenton Bridge as Washington rode over, on his way to the New York 
inauguration. Richard Grant White, however, states, on what authority we 
know not, that the work was first played on the occasion of a visit of Washington 
to the old John Street Theatre in New York. 

It is evident that all these different accounts are based directly or 
indirectly upon the three contradictory versions of William McKoy 
in Poulson's Advertiser, 1829, of J. C. in the Baltimore Clipper, 1841, 
and of George Washington Parke Custis, 1860. Later accounts con- 

a History of the Flag of the United States, by Rear Admiral Geo. Henry Preble, 
p. 719. 

b Through the courtesy of John W. Jordan, Esq., librarian of the Historical Society 
of Peimsylvania, we learn that the first Philadelphia ** City Directcny " was published 
in 1785, the second in 1791. In neither of these does the name of any musician bear- 
ing any ressemblance to the ones given above appear. 

Hail Columbia. 56 

tain nothing substantially new except when confusing the problem 
by incorrect and uncritical quotations from unmentioned sources; 
as in the case of Rev. Elias Nason who inaccurately copied R. Grant 
White's superficial footnote. 

If our problem can be solved, it will be possible only by critically 
investigating pro et contra the data given in the reports of 1829, 1841, 
and 1860. 

These data are: 

1. The march ever since known as the ''President's March" was 
composed by a German teacher of music in Philadelphia, named 
Johannes Roat or Roth, ''the seat of the Federal Government of the 
thirteen United States being removed to Philadelphia and in honour 
of the new President Washington, then residing at No. 190 High 
street" (Mc. Koy). 

2) The President's March was composed by Professor Pfyle and 
was played at Trentonbridge when Washington passed over on his 
way to New York to his inauguration. (Information obtained by 
J. C. from "one of the performers" confirmed afterwards by a son 
of said Pfyle.) 

3) The President's March was composed by a German, named 
Feyles in 1789 and was played upon President George Washington's 
entrance into the stage box with his family. (Recollections by 
George Washington Parke CHistis.) 

To begin with the first version: Who was this German teacher of 
music, by the name of Roth? 

Even the most careful research in the old newspapers, magazines, 
directories, and in books relating to the early theatrical and musical 
life of the United States will add but very little to the following few 
items: I find Roth first mentioned in the year 1771. On December 
5 a concert advertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette for November 28, 
by "Mr. John M'Lean (Instructor of the German Flute)" in Phila- 
delphia, was to "conclude with an overture, composed (for the occa- 
sion) by Philip Roth, master of the band belonging to his Majesty's 
Royal Regiment of British Fusiliers." 

Not imtil 1785 have I again found his name mentioned. But in 
. this year we read his name in the first City Directory of Philadelphia, 
published by White. He appears there as *^ Roots, Philip, music 
maker, Sixth between Arch and Race streets." We next read his 
name in an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Journal (Phila.) for 
September 10, 1788. 

''Mr. Roth, Muflic Master in Pennington AUey, running from Race to Vine 
Streets, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, teacher aU kinds of Instrumental 
Music in the shortest manner, viz. Harpsichord or Piano Forte, Guitar, Flute, 
Hautboy, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Harp and Thorough Bass, which is 
the Ground of Music.'' 

56 Hail Columbia. 

The third item which I was able to trace shows Roth again as a 

The ''Columbian Magazine" (Phila.) brought out in the April 
number of 1790 "A Hunting Song. Set to Music by Mr. Roth, of 
Philadelphia." It is written in E flat major and in the intentionally 
simple style of the German Yolkslieder of that period, to the words: 
"Ye sluggards who murder your lifetime in bed, etc." Needless to 
say that the song is of little musical value. 

The first directory for Philadelphia had been published in 1785. 
The second was issued in 1791, the third in 1793; after that the 
directory was issued annually. In all these, till 1805, we run acrosa 
the "musician" or "teacher of music" or "music master" Philip 
Roth, his name being spelled from 1803-1805 "Rothe." He lived 
from 1791 to 1794 in 25 Crownst; from 1799-1803 in 33 Crownst, 
whereas for the years 1795-1798 his residence is given without a 
house number as in "Crownst." We find in the directory for 1806 
"Rote, widow of Philip, music master, 94 N. Seventh." This would 
suggest 1805 as date of his death, but Mr. Drummond of the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania informed me that the city records show Roth 
to have died in 1804. 

That Philip Roth, besides teaching " all kinds of instrumental music 
in the shortest manner," played in the concert and opera orchestras of 
Philadelphia is highly probable, but he never appears as a soloist or as 
a composer in the many concerts given there tiU 1800, the progranmies 
of which I have copied as far as I was aUe to trace them in the 

Of cour^, the last remark interferes in no way with the possibfl- 
ity of his having composed the " President's March." Mr. McKoy's 
claims must be considered as not contrary to chronology and cir- 
cumstances in regard to Roth's person, and his misspdling the 
name and calling him Johannes instead of Philip matters very little. 
But otherwise his claims are suspicious, thou^ he seems to have 
known Roth well. 

The reader wiU have noticed that McKoy does not mention the 
year in which the ''President's March" was composed. Tins is 
of importance, as his narrative excludes the years 1774-1788, during 
which we had fifteen presidents of the Continental Congress, and 
also the year 1789, when George Washington became President of 
the United States. Tlie seat of government was not removed 
to Phfladelphia until the fall of 1790. It had been, from 1789 to 
the date of removal, in New Yoric and not in Philadelphia. If, 
therefore, McKoy's statement is correct the march was composed 
in 1790. In this case however the remark "in honour of the new 
President" loses its sense. 

Hail Columbia. 57 

But the lines might represent an excusable slip of memorj; and 
the march might have been written by Roth and played in honor of 
the President when passing through Philadelphia on his way to 
New York in 1789. 

Washington left Mount Vernon on the 16th of April; reached 
Philadelphia on the 20th and continued his voyage the following 
day.** The Pennsylvania Journal (W., April 22), the Pennsyl- 
vania Mercury (T., April 21), the Independent Gazetteer (T., April 
21), the Pennsylvania Packet (T., April 21), the Freeman's Journal 
(W., April 22), and the Pennsylvania Gazette (W., April 22) all give 
an account of the President's reception at Philadelphia, but none 
of these papers, except the Pennsylvania Gazette, refer to any 
music having been played at the entertainment and this paper only 
in a vague way: 

" Philadelphia, April 22. 

Monday last His Excellency George Washington, Esq., the President Elect 
of the United States, arrived in this city, about one o'clock, accompanied by 
the President of the State . . . troops . . . and a numerous c<mcouree of citizens 
on horseback and foot. 

His Excellency rode in front of the procession, on horseback . . . The bells 
were rung thro' the day and night, and a feu de joy was fired as he moved down 
Market and Second Street to the City Tavern ... At three o'clock His Excel- 
lency sat down to an elegant Entertainment of 250 covers at the City Tavon, 
prepared for him by the citizens of Philadelphia. A band of music played 
during the entertainment and a discharge of artillery took place at every toast 
among which was, ihe State of Viiginia." 

This meager notice and the silence of the other papers in regard to 
music are mgnificant. Had the band played a march composed in 
honor of the illustrious guest, the papers would have mentioned the 
fact, as it was their habit of doing on similar occasions. This state- 
ment can be proved over and over and will be supported by all who 
have had occasion to study our early newspapers and their habits. 

For the same reasons, Mr. McKoy's claims, even if taken literally, 
which would imply that the President's March was written in 1790 
when the seat of government was actually removed to Philadelphia, 
contain no evidential strength. 

During the President's short stay in Philadelphia: 

... an elegant F^te Ghamptoe was given to this illustrous penonage, his 
amiable consort and fiunily . . . [Sept. 4.] on the banks of the Schuylkill, in 
the highly improved grounds of the messrs. Gray, by a number of respectable 
citizens. . . A band of music played during the repast, and at the close of the 
repast several excellent songs were sung, and toasts were given. 

Neither this accoimt which appeared in the Pennsylvania Packet 
for Wednesday, September 8, 1790, nor any other, mentions a piece 

oComp. McMaster, I, 538 or Baker. 

58 Hail Columbia. 

of music composed ^'for the occasion." It would have been quite 
contrary to the practice of our early newspapers to have omitted 
reference to a piece written and played in honor of the new president. 

Consequently McKoy's version, in spite of the fact that he was a 
contemporary and fellow-citizen of Philip Roth, becomes very 
doubtful. Had he attributed the ''President's March" to this 
musician without going into details, his case would have been much 
stronger. We then might have admitted the probability that he 
knew the history of the march either from Roth himself or from 
others conversant with the matter. 

In its actual form, however, McKoy's statement not only contains 
a contradicHo in adjecto, but it is contradicted moreover by two of his 
contemporaries, one of whom claimed to have been among the 
original performers of the march and the other to have been a son 
of the composer. If the claims made for Roth had been known to 
either of these two gentlemen, they emphatically would have denied 
their correctness, and at least a short reference to this protest would 
have slipped into J. C.'s accoimt. Evidently Philip Roth was not 
generally considered outside of Philadelphia as author of the march, 
nay, not even in Philadelphia itself, for we shall see that ''Professor 
Pf^le," too, resided for years in Philadelphia. Certainly his son 
would have heard of Roth's claims if such were made, and he 
would not have failed, in his conversation with J. C, to prove the 
fallacy of claims which unjustly robbed his father of the glory of 
having written the air to one of our national songs. 

On what grounds Mr. McKoy attributes the piece to Roth we have 
no way of ascertaining. We have to content ourselves with the fact 
that chronology and circumstances command weight against his 
theory. Unless an early copy of the President's March is discovered, 
printed or in manuscript, bearing Roth's name as author, it would be 
imcritical to accept his authorship as a historical fact. 

But who was "Professor Pfyle," alias Fayles, alias Feyles, alias 
Fyles, alias Pfalz, alias Pfazles, alias Pfeil, alias Pfyles, alias Philo, 
alias Phyla, alias Phyles, alias Phylo, alias Phylz, alias Thyla? 

J. C.'s spelling seems to corroborate Elson's idea that the actual 
name was the German "Pfeil," anglicized later on into Ffyle. But 
the numerous instances in which the name of this "gentleman of 
doubtful cognomen" appears in newspaper advertisements, etc., leave 
no doubt that in America he spelled his name Phile. Chily once is 
the name given with a different spelling. This name of Phile was 
not so uncommon after all in America, as I find five different " Phile's" 
in the two first Philadelphia city directories. 

On Saturday, March 6, 1784, a concert was advertised at Philadel- 
phia, in the Pennsylvania Packet, "For the Benefit of Mr. Phile," in 
which he and a Mr. Brown "for that night only" were to play "A 

Hail Columbia. 59 

Double Concerto for the Violin and Flute." This concert was post- 
poned from March 18 to the following Tuesday, March 23. Previous 
to 1784 I have not found Phile mentioned. 

He must have been an able violinist, for when the Old American 
Company of Comedians returned in 1785 to the Continent from the 
West Indies, where they had sought refuge in the fall of 1774, he was 
made leader of the orchestra. To quote Charles Durang, who in his 
rare and interesting '^History of the Philadelphia Stage" (Ch. IK) 
throws ''professional side lights" on the different performers in 1785: 

The orchestra waa composed of the following musicians; Mr. Philo, leader; 
Mr. Bentley, harpsichord; Mr. Woolf, principal clarionet; Trimner, Hecker, and 
son, violoncello, violins etc. Some six or seven other names, now not remem- 
bered, constituted the musical force. The latter were all Germans. 

On July 18, 1786, was to be performed in New York,<» under the 
direction of Mr. Reinagle, the '* vocal parts by Miss Maria Storer," 
"A Grand Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Miisic." The first 
part of the concert was to consist ^'chiefly of Handel's Sacred MusiCi 
as performed in Westminster Abbey. The Second Part miscellane- 
ous." Phile was engaged as soloist in the first part, his name appear- 
ing thus in the program: ''Concerto Violin . . . Mr. Phile," and 
Mr. Reinagle and Mr. Phile were to play a ''Duett for Violin and 
Violoncello" in the second part. 

We next find him at Philadelphia in 1787 ^ and again in connection 
with a concert. It was the one for Monday, January 15, at the 
Southwark Theater. The concert was interspersed with "Lectures 
Moral and Entertaining," and concluded with the "Grand Panto- 
mimical Finale. In two Acts called Robinson Crusoe." We read in 
the "First Act": "Rondeau— Mr. Phile." 

He can not have remained very long in Philadelphia, because we 
find him a month after his concert engagement in Philadelphia 
at New York and offering his services as music teacher. The adyer- 
tisement reads :^ 

Music. Philip Phile, most respectfully offers his service to Lovers of Instru- 
mental Musick, in Teaching the Violin and German Flute methodically. Attend- 
ance will be given at his Lodgings No. 82 Chatham Row, near Vande Waters. He 
will also wait on such Gentlemen, as would wish to take Lessons, at their own 

N. B. Musick copied at the above mentioned place. Feb. 20. 

Not quite two months after this advertisement was inserted Phile 
reappeared in public in Philadelphia, and it seems as if he was ex- 
pressly called from New York. The '^ Syllabus" of the magnificent 
''First Uranian Concert/' which was performe4 at the German 

ON. Y. Packet 1786, July 13. 

6 Pa. Packet, Jan. 13, 1787. 

cN. Y. DaUy Advertiser, Feb. 21, 1787. 

60 Hail Columbia. 

Reformed Church on April 12, 1787, under the direction of the ambi- 
tious Andrew Adgate,^ contains his name among the ''Authors'' in 
the following manner: "IV . . . Concerto Violino By Mr. Phile of 
New York." 

In the following year ' * Mr. Rehine's Concert of Vocal and Instru- 
mental Music/' which was to have taken place on November 26 at the 
City Tavern in Philadelphia, was ' ' postponed on account of the bad- 
ness of the weather 'till Friday Evening the 29th.' " In this concert 
the restless Mr. Phile was to play " Solo Violino" in the first act. ^ 

An entire "Amateurs Concert" was given "For the Benefit of 
Philip Phile" on January 29, 1789, "at the house of Henry Epple in 
Racestreet." The orchestral niunbers were three "Grand Over- 
tures" by Vanhall, Haydn, and Martini. As soloists we notice 
Reinagle with a pianoforte sonata. Wolf with a "Concerto Clarinetto," 
and Phile. The latter played in the first act a "Concerto Violino" 
and in the second a "Solo Violino." 

It really seems as if Phile was the fashionable violin virtuoso of the 
day, constanly "on the road" between New York and Philadelphia, 
for again a "Violin Concerto by Phile" was to be performed at "A 
Concert of Sacred Music" which the recently founded "Musical 
Society of New York" gave on Thursday, June 18, 1789, at the 
Lutheran Church in order to cover the expenses resulting from the 
purchase of an organ by the Society.^ 

It may be that during all these years Phile remained the leader of 
the orchestra of the Old American Company, but it is by no means 
certain, as the fact is nowhere mentioned. We only know (from 
Durang) that he held this position about 1785. If some of the 
writers whom I have quoted claim that he was the leader of the 
orchestra in the John Street Theater at New York in 1789, they forgot 
to refer to their soiux^ of information, and therefore can not be con- 
sidered as historically trustworthy. 

Phile became tired of his erratic life and he decided to ''continue 
his residence " in Philadelphia. Of this decision he gave public notice 
in the Pennsylvania Packet for December 16, 1789: 

Mr. Fhile most reex>ectfiilly informa the citizens of Philadelphia, particularly thoee 
Gentlemen he had the honour to instruct formeily, that the unavoidable necessity 
which occasioned his abscence has now ceased, and that he is determined to continue 
his residence in this city. 

He hopes from the many proofs he has afforded of his abilities as a Teacher of dif- 
ferent Instruments of Music, to meet with the Patronage of a generous Public. He 
proposes to instruct Gentlemen on the Violin, Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon. Mr. Phile 
is willing to render every satisfaction; this, with a particular attention to those Gen- 
tlemen who may please to encourage him, will, he trusts, establish the Reputati<m 
he is desirous to merit 

a Pa. Packet, April 9. 

b Federal Gazette, Nov. 26, 1788. 

c N. Y. Daily Adv. and N. Y. Daily Gaz. for June 12, 1789. 

Hail Columbia. 61 

Directions to Mr. Phile, living in Race street between Front and Second street, will 
be punctually attended to. N. B. Music copied. Philadelphia, Dec. 14. 

Undoubtedly Phile resided at Philadelphia during the year 1790, 
as on March 18, 1790, ''A Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music for 
the Benefit of Mr. Phile " was to be given,^ and as half a year later, on 
Saturday, October 16, he performed a ''Flute Concert" at Messrs. 
Gray's Gardens, the entertainment concluding with ''Harmony 
Music by Mr. Phile.'' ^ 

These concerts at Gray's fashionable gardens were held regularly 
during the siimmer months and were by no means of the "roof garden " 
order. The best performers of Philadelphia were engaged for the 
instrumental and yocal solos, and music only of composers then con- 
sidered as the best was played. The concert mentioned, for instance, 
comprised grand overtures by Haydn, Schmitt, Martini, and sym- 
phonies by Stamitz and Abel. 

For the years 1791 and 1792 I have not been able to trace Phile's 
name, but I find him as "Phile Philip, music master, 207 Sassafrasst" 
in the Philadelphia directory for 1793. Then he disappears, and it is 
very likely that he died a victim of the yellow fever epidemic raging 
so terribly at Philadelphia during 1793, for we notice a "Phile, 
Susanna, widow. Washer, 86 No. Fourth st." in the directory for 1794. 

This is a curricvlwm vite of Philip Phile, as far as I could glean 
it from newspapers and other sources. Not once is he mentioned as 
author of the "President's March." However, as he evidently was a 
composer besides being a violin virtuoso, so far neither chronology 
nor circumstances seriously weaken J. C.'s or Custis's claims in favor 
of Phile. 

George Washington Parke Custis claimed that the march was 
composed by a German named Fyles in 1789, in contradistinction to 
[Francis Hopkinson's?] Washington's March, and that it was struck 
up when the President entered the stage box with his family. He 
does not state when the march was first played, far less does he claim 
that the march was composed for the occasion of Washington's first 
visit to the John Street llieater in New York. We have to examine 
his account as it stands and are not justified in embellishing it, as 
Saffell, Nason, and others have done. 

I feel inclined to trust Custis's version neither as a solid basis for 
air castles, nor as a reflex of direct and authentic information bearing 
upon the subject, nor as a supplementary evidence in favor of J. C.'s 
Phile tradition. 

It might be objected that Custis, having become a member of 
Washington's family a few months after his birth, ought to be con- 
sidered a reliable witness and out of reach of historical skepticism. 

Certainly, if it were evident that he visited the theater with the 
president on May 11, Jime 5, November 24 and 30, 1789, the only 

a Pa. Picket, T. March 16, 1790. 6 Federal Gaaette, Fr. Oct. 15, 1790. 

62 Hail Columbia. 

four times, according to Baker's "Washington after the Revolution/' 
and Paul Leicester Ford's charming book, ''Washington and the 
theater/'^ that the president attended theatrical performances in 
New York. This, however, is not the case, and we have no means 
of ascertaining whether or not Custis himself heard the President's 
March played on these occasions. In the second place, are the rec- 
ollections of a boy of 8 years reUable? Certainly not; but this argu- 
ment appUes to Custis, who was bom in 1781, on the 30th of April.^ 
Furthermore, the "Recollections" were written during a period of 
thirty years, and their preface is dated by the author "Arlington 
House Near Alexandria, Va. 1856." Is it not most likely that 
Custis, when "recollecting" the events of the year 1789, was forced 
to supplement his or his family's reminiscences with information 
gained from other sources, in particular from tradition and the study 
of books? 

When a boy of 8 years George Washington Parke Custis probably 
was not very much interested in the name of the composer of a march. 
Even if he was, such early recollections can not be considered a safe 
basis for critical history. If he learned the name later on, especially 
after twenty or thirty years had elapsed, then his account has merely 
the strength of hearsay. Neither the diciry which Washington kept in 
1789, nor the old newspapers, nor other contemporary sources mention 
a performance of the President's March at the New York theater in 
1789, nor have such lovers of historical minutiae discovered any ref- 
erence to that eflfect. Possibly the "President's March" was played 
in 1789 on one or several occasions when George Washington visited 
the theater, but we are not obliged nor even justified in admitting it, 
and with the admission of this possibility as a fact we would still be 
very distant from positive proof of the authenticity of Custis's state- 
ment that the "President's March" was composed hy PhUe in 1789. 

"The President's March," said J. C, "was composed by a Professor 
Pfyle, and was played at Trenton bridge when Washington passed 
over on his way to New York to his inauguration." 

It seems not to have entered the mind of any of the historians quoted, 
except William S. Baker, to search for the contemporary accoimts of 
this occasion. The research would not have caused them very much 
trouble, as quite a nimiber of newspapers printed reports of the 
"respectful ceremonies" at Trenton, among them the Pennsylvania 
Mercury for Saturday, May 2, 1789; the Pennsylvania Packet for 
M., April 27, and the New York Journal for April 30. By neglecting 
the newspapers the writers missed a most important clue, as will 
readily be seen from the report printed in the Pennsylvania Packet: 

a Published in 1899 as No. 8 of the New Series of the Dunlap Society Publications. 
bComp. Appleton or the ''Memoir of George Washington Fttrke Custis" prefixed 
by his daughter to the ''Recollections.'' 

Hail Columbia. 63 

A Sonata Sung by a Number of young Girls, dreased in white and decked with 
Wreaths and Ghaplets of Flowers, holding Baskets of Flowers in their Hands, as 
General Washington passed under the triumphal Arch, raised on the Bridge at 
Trenton, April 21, 1789. 

Welcome, mi^ty chief I once more, 
Welcome to this grateful shore 
Now no mercenary foe 
Aims again the fatal blow 
Aims at thee the fatal blow. 
Virgins ieiu and Matrons grave 
Those thy conquering arms did save — 
Build for thee triumphal bowers t 
Strew, ye fair, his way with flowers — 
Strew your Hero's way with flowers. 

As they sung these Lines they strewed the Flowers before the General, who 
halted until the Sonata was finished. The General being presented with a Copy 
of the Sonata, was pleased to address the following Card to the Ladies. 

To the Ladies of Trenton . . . 

General Washington cannot leave this Plaoe without expressing his Acknowl- 
edgments to the Matrons and Young Ladies who received him in so novel and 
graceful a Manner at the Triumphal Arch in Trenton, for the exquisite Sensations 
he experienced in that affecting moment. 

The astonishing Contrast between his former and actual Situation at the same 

spot, the elegant Taste with which it was adorned for the present occasion — and 

the innocent Appearance of the White Robed Choir who met him with the gratu- 

latory Song — ^have made such an impression on his Remembrance, as, he assures 

them, will never be effaced. 

Trenton, April 21, 1789. 

The other papers referred to brought similar reports, all printing 
sonata instead of cantata, with this important addition, however: 
'^Sonata, composed ^ and set to music for the occasion.'' Of other 
music performed at Trenton bridge on this day, and especially of 
music composed for the occasion, not a syllable in any of the reports. 

One is almost led to suppose that this ''Sonata" was the piece 
alluded to by J. C. and attributed by one of the performers, and later 
by Phile's son, to Philip Phile as the "President's March." 

At last the problem appears to approach solution. J. C.'s state- 
ment seems to be corroborated to the degree of circumstantial evi- 
dence by this accoimt, and Philip Phile, indeed, seems to have been, 
beyond reasonable doubt, the author of the much-disputed march. 
Oxir joy is premature. 

New Music. Just published (Price 3 S. 9) and to be Sold by Rice & Co. Book- 
sellers; South side Market near Second Street. 

A chorus, sung before General Washington, as he passed under the triumphal 
Arch raised on the Bridge at Trenton, April 21st. 1789; composed and dedicated 
by permission, to Mrs. Washington By A. Reinagle. 

This advertisement was published in the Pennsylvania Packet, 
Tuesday, December 29, 1789. Therewith we have a third and for- 
midable claimant in the person of one of the foremost musicians in the 

a Mr. Baker attributes the words to Maj. Richard Howell, later on governor of New 


Hail Columbia. 

country, the composer of numerous operas, sonatas, songs, marches, 
in particular of the ''Federal March," written for and performed at 
Philadelphia on July 4, 1788, in the grand procession in honor of the 
Constitution, the only known copy of which is now in the Library of 
Congress. If the music of the chorus sung on the bridge at Trenton 
was identical with that of the President's March, then, of course, 
Alexander Reinagle's music was wedded to "Hail Colimibia," and 
not Philip Phile's. Fortunately a copy of the "Chorus" is still extant 
to throw light on the puzzling situation. In their pamphlet on 
"Washington's reception by the ladies of Trenton," the Society of 
Iconophiles published in 1903 a reduced facsimile in copper photo- 
gravure of the piece as once in possession of Maj. Richard HoweU, 
supposed author of the poem in question. The extremely rare piece 
bears this title: 

Chorus sung before Gren. Washington as he passed under the Triumphal arch 
raised on the bridge at Trenton, April 2l8t, 1789. Set to music and dedicated by 
permission to Mis. Washington by A. Reinagle. Price i dollar. Philadelphia. 
Printed for the author, and sold by H. Rice, M^ket Street. 

The instrumental introduction and the first bars of the chorus may 
follow here to prove conclusiyely that Reinagle's chorus and the Presi- 
dent's March are not identical. 













1st Voicb. 
/ P. 



/ 5D VOICB. 






/ Welcome, Weloome 




Welcome, Welcome 


Hail Columbia. 65 

Here, then, is a puzzling situation. Phile's son claimed that a 
march known as the President's March and composed by his father 
was played on the bridge at Trenton, and that he was one of the per- 
formers. On the other hand, there exists a composition by Reinagle, 
the title of which would seem to leave no doubt that it was played 
and simg on the same occasion to the words '^Welcome, mighty cldef I 
once more." If we were permitted to assimie that both compositions 
figured on the programme of the festivities at Trenton, that would 
clear the situation somewhat, but no contemporary accoimt mentions 
any music but the so-called ' ' Sonata. ' ' Had the ' ' President's March ' ' 
been composed for the occasion the fact siu'cly would have been men- 
tioned in the newspapers. Even if "The President's March" was 
already so popular as to be played as a matter of course in the presence 
of the President, the probabilities are that the march would have 
been reported by name or at least that the contemporary reports 
would have alluded to the performance of other music besides the 
"Sonata." Such, however, is not the case, and the issue can not be 
avoided. Either Reinagle's chorus was simg or "The President's 
March" had been fitted to Major Howell's words. Under the cir- 
cumstances it is fortimate that the rendition of Reinagle's chorus on 
the bridge at Trenton, all appearances to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing, is very doubtful for the following reasons: 

(1) The printed title allows to read a distinction between chorus 
sung, which would then mean "words sung" and set to music. 

(2) They must have been sung before Washington on April 21, 
whereas Reinagle's composition was advertised in the Pennsylvania 
Packet, Philadelphia, December 29, 1789, as just pMished. An 
unusual interval between performance and publication. 

(3) Reinagle's piece is engraved for "2 voice. 1 voice. 3 voice" 
with pianoforte accompaniment apparently reduced from orchestral 
score. The 3. voice stands in the bass clef, and the whole is com- 
posed for either a mixed chorus or a 3-part male chorus. But the 
Sonata was simg "by a niunber of young girls," and of a band or 
orchestra assisting on the occasion and accompanying the singers no 
mention is made. 

Any of these three observations alone might carry little weight. 
Together they do, and combined with a fourth they appear to bear 
out the doubt that Reinagle's chorus was not composed for April 21, 
1789. The "Plan" (programme) of the "New York Subscription 
Concert" for Tuesday, September 16, 1789, as it appears in the Daily 
Advertiser for the same day, reads: 

After the first act, will be performed a chorus, to the words that were sung, as 
Gen. Washington passed the Bridge at Trenton — ^The Music now composed by 
Mr. Reinagle. 

86480-09 6 

66 Hail Columbia. 

This implies that Reinagle's setting, published in December, was 
not the one simg when General Washington passed the bridge. Con- 
sequently Reinagle no longer interferes with the Phile tradition. The 
claim put forth for Phile's authorship of the President's March is by 
no means yet proved, but it remains unshaken. It would be decidedly 
strengthened if it could be shown that the ''Music of the Sonata" 
actually sung on April 21, 1789, and of the ''President's March" were 
identical. As Reinagle did not compose the music for the occasion, 
and as Phile is the only other musician mentioned in connection with 
said occasion, appearances seem to be in his favor imtil coimterbal- 
anced by the observation that the claim for Phile is based upon the 
reminiscences of one of the original performers confirmed later by 
Phile's son. The term performer without the addition vocal generally 
applies to a performer on some instrument. To have been a performer 
on said occasion would infer that the "Sonata" was sung with instru- 
mental accompaniment. To repeat it, nothing goes to show that such 
was the case. But in order not to push arguments too far, the possi- 
bility may be admitted either that the performerwas a vocal performer, 
scUicet, one of the "young girb," or that the '* Sonata" was really 
sung with instrumental accompaniment though not so described in 
any of the reports. We might even allow the combination of both 
possibilities for the simplification of matters. In that case the words 
of the "Sonata" were either fitted to the already popular "President's 
March," or this march was composed for the occasion and subse- 
quently became popular imder the name of " The President's March." 
However, all this seems to be impossible, for a very simple reason. In 
my opinion the vxfrdspfthe "Sonata" can not have been sung to any of 
{he versions of "The Presidents March.'* Every attempt to fit the 
words of the "Sonata" to this march fails, even after the boldest 
surgical operations. Consequently, imless others succeed with such 
attempts, the conclusion is inevitable that the " Sonata'* sung on the 
bridge at Trenton and the "Presidents March*' were not identical. It 
follows that J. C.'s statement of 1841, like McKoy's of 1829, contains 
a serious flaw. Therefore we are not justified in accepting it as 

To prove the point just raised, some of the earliest versions of the 
"President's March" are here submitted either in facsimile or in 
transcript. At the same time these musical quotations will show 
the musical genesis and partial transformation of "Hail Colimibia" 
about the year 1800. 

(1) The arrangement for two flutes, on page 3, of the first number 
of R. Shaw's and B. Carr's "Gentleman's Amusement," Philadel- 
phia, Carr, April, 1794. See facsimile of the copy at the Library of 
Congress (Appendix, PL IX). (This "Gentleman's Amusement" is 

Hail Columbia. 


identical with the one advertised in the New York Daily Advertiser, 
May 8, 1794, as "Philadelphia printed for Shaw & Co.") 

(2) "President's March." Philadelphia, G. Willig, Mark[et] street 
185, and therefore published between 1798 and 1803. See facsimile 
of the copy at the Library of Congress in Appendix, Plate X. 


The Preddent'B Marob m In Shaw'i Flute Preceptor. Philadelphia, 1802. 

i frr r s ir^^^ 

• c If r r i If ^ ^ 

y f r f r r J ir [-^-r r if r i^ 

i^.''rrrrr m 

'J r rj' 


l|''rrrr r nr ^m 

r <ir c^ r ^ 

f^r^fr J I f ^^■^ ^• ^irr ^ ^ 




The Pretident'i Hareh as In the " Compleat Tntor for the Fife," PhlladelphU, O. Wllllg, co. 180ft. 

\ fi r a-i[^ 


crSf i rrr ^ i f ^ 




Hail Columbia. 69 


the other, fortunately, "March, by Moller." Fortunately, because 
the reference to the name of John Christopher Moller proves that the 
page can not have been printed before his arrival in America in 1790, 
and that it most probably forms part of one of the publications issued 
by Moller and Henri Capron at Philadelphia in 1793. The importance 
of this page therefore lies in the fact that ''The President's March" 
was attributed to Pheil and not to Roth as early as about 1793. 
Consequently this probably earliest edition of the march (see Appen- 
dix, PI. XI), though it does not assist us in dating and locating the 
origin of "The President's March," removes all reasonable doubt from 
the tradition that the music of "Hail Colimibia" was composed by 
PhUip Phile. 

A comparison of the "Hail Coimnbia" texts, as they appear in song 
books, is unnecessary, because practically no verbal differences have 
crept into Joseph Hopkinson's poem. It may be noticed, however, 
that the autograph which was formerly in possessign of Mr. C. D. Hil- 
debrand, of Philadelphia, and which Admiral Preble reproduced in 
facsimile in the second edition of his book on our flag,^ has in the first 
stanza "war was done^* instead of "war was goneJ^ The latter ver- 
sion not only is the one now customary, but it appears in the two 
earliest printed versions of "Hail Colimibia," described above. For 
this reason the Hildebrand autograph probably is not the earliest or 
even an early autograph copy. Two other copies in Joseph Hopkin- 
son's hand are mentioned by Preble in this manner: 

" During the centennial year an autograph copy of ' Hail Columbia ' 
was displayed in the museimi at Independence Hall, Philadelphia. 
This copy was written from memory Feb. 22, 1828, and presented to 
George M. Keim, esq., of Reading, in compliance with a request made 
by him. It has marginal notes, one of which informs us that the 
passage 'Behold the Chief refers to John Adams, then President of 
the United States. Mr. Hopkinson also presented General Washing- 
ton with a copy of his poem, and received from him a complimentary 
letter of thanks, which is now in the possession of his descendants." 

An autograph copy signed and dated "Philadelphia, March 24, 
1838" (4**, 3 p.) was offered for sale in Henkels's "Catalogue of Auto- 
graph Letters," 1895. The added facsimile showed that this 1838 
copy has the marginal note about John Adams and done instead of 
gone in the first stanza, thereby corroborating the claim that the 
Hildebrand copy is of a comparatively late date. To whom this 1838 
copy was sold, I do not know. Until recently the Pennsylvania 
Historical Society possessed two autograph copies of " Hail Columbia," 

«From there facsimiled by Mary L. D. Ferrie for her article on "Our National 
Songs" in the New England Magazine, 1890, pp. 483-504. 


Hail Columbia. 

one of them coming from the Hopkinson family papers, but the 
society has since disposed of one of the two. The other is here repro- 
duced in facsimile by pemussion of the society. (See Appendix as 
Plates Vnia-VIIIb.) 

If a text comparison of ''Hail Columbia" is unnecessary , not so a 
comparison of the musical settings, or rather arrangements. First, in 
order to show the difference between the old and the new way of 
singing the "President's March" to the words of "Hail Columbia," 
the edition which Willig printed between 1798 and 1803 will be com- 
pared with the probably simultaneous edition of a copy which has 
been reproduced in facsimile by Mr. Ebon in his books, as mentioned 
before. From these early editions I turn inunediately to current song 
books, selecting for the purpose the same as was done for "The Star- 
Spangled Banner" chapter (see p. 41). Also the same principle and 
method of comparison will be adopted with this difference, that the 
text is added, since it is sometimes placed differently under the notes. 

"The President's March. A new Federal song," Philadelphia, 
G. Willig, betweeir 1798 and 1803. 

•J tirv 

Hail! Co • lam - bis, hap - py land! Hail! ye be -roes Jiea^'n-bora baud! 
B _ _ 6 7 

riT' c r ' ^ 



Wbo fought and bled In free dom's 1 cause, Who fought and bled In 

a 8 Ji 

\lCr QTr i -^c-i r ' i^ ^ 

V^ #*>A^k_/l/\«mta AntvaA A w%A «B»t»A«« ^K^ afr^vw** e\9 ^naw vara 

free-dom'B cause. And when the Storm of war was gone, En - Joy'd the peace your 








^ 13 


iH' Tr . 






yal - or won ; / Let In - de • pen-dence be our boast, Er - er mind • ful 





UT M r r r ^ ! r r r * B 

what it cost, Er • er grateful for the prize. Let its al- tar reach the skies. 

Firm, u - nit - ed, let us be, . . RaMying round our Lib - er - ty, 



As a band of brothers Join'd, Peace and sate-ty we shall find. 

Hail Columbia. 


^ Instead of aUa breve: S. 

D r J' II J ,.^3 

^: B ; F ; G ; J ; M ; B ; SI ; W. ( Hall Columbia la not in ▲.; 8h.; Sm.; Z. ) 
.2 4 

^^^^^KXl ^^ 


fought and bled in Free-dom*8cause,Whofoughtandbled In Free-dom's cause^And 
F; O; J;M;B;8i; W. F;M;R;8l;W. F;Gi J;M;B;8i; W. F;M;B;8i;W. 

The grmoe note g la discarded in modem editions. 

• ^ 12 14 

r r iir r r 



And when the storm of val - or won; Let J 
O; J. F;6; J:M;B;8i;W.6; J. 

.15 16 


c II r T-r^ 

what it cost 
F;M; B; W. 



M; 81. 




^F=f^J=^E! l ^^^ ^ 

F;B;8i;W O; J. 


B; F; O; J; M; B; 81; W. F;Q;J;B.W. M 

^>-g,j" c J r u' g 


Pt r^'f- li r_^r^ 

F; J;M; B;81; W. G 
_ 26 

Ing round our 


F;Q;J;B;W. M 




G; J 

B:F;M;B:S1;W G; J 

F; W 

0;J;81. M;B. 


Hail Columbia. 


[ ^-f— ' T' c i r r r' 




'l''"^i II I ^=^=£=^ 




r r II r r ~r~^~i 

For eight song books, selected at random, to thus differ in the 
majority of bars of a national song of 28 bars, is a deplorable state of 
affairs. It means that if 8 children, each familiar with one of these 
song books, were to sing ''Hail Columbia" together, not one would 
sing the melody exactly like any of the other 7 children. One is 
ashamed as an American to think of the residt, if not 8, but 80 current 
song books were similarly examined! The discrepancies between 
current versions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" are regrettable 
enough, but those between current versions of "Hail Columbia" 
evidently are still worse.^ 4 

^ This report was in proof sheets when Mr. Otto Hubach, financial editor of the 
New Yorker Staata-Zeitung and from 1876-1883 an officer in the Prussian army in- 
formed me of his recollection ^'that the march to which the text of 'Hail Columbia' 
is sung dates from the time of Frederick the Great and for more than one hundred 
years has been officially used in the Prussian army as * AltpreussfUchts Rondo* and 
that the in&mtry manual still in his time mentioned imder accredited marches this 
rondo.** I have not yet had occasion to verify this information. That the in&mtry 
manual contains a march at least similar to the *' President *s March* * I have no reason 
to doubt, though the latter is by no means a rondo. Nor do I see how Mr. Hubach's 
recollections interfere at all with Philip Phile*s authorship. Like many other foreign 
marches, his may have found its way to Prussia to be used on special official occasions. 
I suspect a slight error somewhere in Mr. Hubach*s recollections. At any rate, neither 
Thouret nor Ealkbrenner (* ' Verzeichnis s&mtlicher kgl . preussischen Armee-M&rBche, '' 
1896) substantiate Mr. Hubach*s recollections so far as they affect place and date of 
origin of the ''President*s March,** which may safely be attributed to Philip Phile, 
until facts render this impossible. 


Rev. Samuel F. Smith's (1808-1895) "America" does not call for 
elaborate treatment in a report like this. In the first place, words 
and time show a praiseworthy imiformity in the song books. The 
only difference between the 12 song books selected, which is at all 
worth mentioning, is that Aiken, Gantvoort, Jepson, Ripley, Zeiner 
have in the forelast bar — 

Let free-dom ring. 

whereas Boyle, Famsworth, McLaughlin, Shirley, Siefert, Smith, 
YThiting have — 

Let free-dom ring. 

No noteworthy discrepancies appear in the texts used in the song 
books. This has its simple explanation in the fact that Reverend 
Smith himself adhered to his original text whenever he was requested 
in later years to write autograph copies of "America.''^ Indeed, so 
nimierous were these occasions that Mr. Benjamin in the Collector, 
July, 1908, expressed his willingness to supply autograph copies of 
"My coimtry, 'tis of thee" at any time for $10. This is probably an 

o The Chief Aesifltant Librarian, Mr. GriflSn, then Chief of the Bibliography Division, 
in his memorandum of November 20, 1907, pointed out that in a version " published 
by D. Lothrop and company, Boston, 1884, there is an accompanying facsimile auto- 
graph copy in which, in the second stanza, there is a comma after the word noble 
changing somewhat the significance of the verse." Mr. GriflSn also found in F. L. 
Knowles' ^' Poems of American patriotism'' not less than four additional stanzaa 
printed not to be found in the original . Mr. Kobb6 included in his " Famous American 
Songs'' the following stanza, believed to have been added, he says, by the author at 
the celebration of the Washington Inauguration Centennial: 

Our joyful hearts to-day. 
Their grateful tribute pay, 

Happy and free. 
After our toils and fears. 
After our blood and tears. 
Strong with our hundred years 

God, to thee. 


74 America, 

exaggeration, yet it is certain that more autograph copies exist than 
are referred to in the following. 

In the clever chat on "Our national songs" in the New England 
Magazine (July, 1890, vol. 2, pp. 483-504) Mary L. D. Ferris has a 
facsimile of the original draft of "America" (on the margin of a 
printed subscription blank), then still in the possession of Reverend 
Smith. The text of this draft, which does not bear the title "America," 
nor any other title, reads : 

Hy conntrv 'Ha of thee 
Sweet Una of liberty; 

Of tbee I sii^. 
Land where my nitheiB died 
Land of the pitgrinu' pride 
FWiin every mountun aide 

Let freedom ring. 

My native country, — thee, 
I^nd of the noble free 
— Thy name I lovej 

I love my— rocks A nils 
Thy woods db templed hilla 
Hy heart with rapture thriUa 
like that above. 

Let muaic swell the breeze 
And ring from &11 the treei 

Sweet freedom's song 
Let alt that breathes partake 
Let mortal tonguee awake 
Let rocks their silence break 

The Bound prolong. 

Our fathetB* God to Thee 
Author of liberty 

To Thee we sing 
Loiw may our land be bri^t 
With freedom's holy lioht 
Protect us by Thymight 

Our God OUT King. 

Between the second and fourth verse Reverend Smith sketched, 
lit then crossed out, the following: 

No more shall tyrants here 
With haughty steps appear 

And Bolciier bands 
No more shall tyiants tread 
Above the patnot dead 
No more our blood be shed 

By alien hands. 

In the same article, Miss Ferris gives the facsiniile of an autograph, 
pparently written for her by Reverend Smith and dated "Feb. 28, 
$90." This has the title "America." In the third stanza the line 
Let mortal tongues awake" precedes "Let all that breathe," and 
I the last Une of the whole poem occurs the now current "Great 
od" instead of "Our God," but otherwise the texts are identical. 

On April 4, 1893, Reverend Smith wrote a copy of his poem for the 
iitlook, where a facsimile appeared in 1898, voltmie 59, page 565. 

America. 75 

The text is identical with that in the 1890 autograph, and also with 
that of a facsimile of an autograph copy sent Admiral Preble by 
Reverend Smith under date of ''Boston, Mass., Sept. 12, 1872,'' and 
printed by the admiral in the 1880 edition of his book on our flag. 

The autograph copy of "America" was accompanied by notes on 
the origin of the poem. Such historical notes the author was con- 
stantly, and \mtil his death, requested to send to the admirers of 
"America." The version most frequently used by subsequent his- 
torians appears to be that in Admiral Preble's book. It reads: 

The origin of my hymn, "My Coimtry His of Thee*', is briefly told. In the 
year 1831, Mr. William G. Woodbridge returned from Europe, bringing a quantity 
of German music-books, which he passed over to Lowell Mason. Mr. Mason, 
with whom I was on terms of friendship, one day turned them over to me, 
knowing that I was in the habit of reading German works, saying, "Here, I 
can't read these, but they contain good music, which I should be glad to use. 
Turn over the leaves, and if you find anything particularly good, give me a 
translation or imitation of it, or write a wholly original song, — anything, so I can 
use it." 

Accordingly, one leisure afternoon, I was looking over the books, and fell in 
with the tune of "God Save the King", and at once took up my pen and wrote 
the piece in question. It was struck out at a sitting, without the slightest idea 
that it would ever attain the popularity it has since enjoyed. I think it was 
written in the town of Andover, Mass., in February, 1832. The first time it 
was simg publicly was at a children's celebration of American independence, 
at the Park Street Church, Boston, I think July 4, 1832. If I had anticipated 
the future of it, doubtless I would have taken more pains with it. Such as it 
is, I am glad to have contributed this mite to the cause of American freedom. 

These notes give substantially the same, though in some details not 
quite the full information as the letter Reverend Smith sent Miss 
Ferris from Newton Center, Mass., August 12, 1889, for her article 
''On our national songs'' in the New England Magazine, 1890, and 
which is quoted here because it has not attracted the attention it 

The hymn, "My country, — 'tis of thee," — ^was written in February, 1832. 
As I was turning over the leaves of several books of music, — chiefly music for 
children's schools, — the words being in the German language, — the music, which 
I found later to be "God save the King", empressed me very favorably. I 
noticed at a glance that the German words were patriotic. But without attempt- 
ing to translate or imitate them, I was led on the impulse of the moment to write 
the hymn now styled "America", which was the work of a brief period of time 
at the close of a dismal winter afternoon. I did not design it for a national 
hymn, nor did I think it would gain such notoriety. I dropped the MS., (which 
is still in my possession) into my portfolio, and thought no more of it for months. 
I had, however, once seen it, after writing it, & given a copy to Mr. Lowell 
Mason, with the music from the German pamphlet; and, much to my siurprise, 
on the succeeding 4th July, he brou^t it out on occasion of a Sunday School 
celebration in Park St. church, Boston. 

76 America. 

The story of the origin of *'My country, 'tis of thee/' as narrated 
at different times without conflicting variations by Reverend Smith, 
IS generally accepted as authentic. As far as I can see, dissension of 
opinion has arisen only over the really unimportant question where, 
when, and by whom ''My country, 'tis of thee," was first sung. In 
the Boston Evening Transcript of October 27, 1908, Mr. William 
Copley Winslow took Mr. Edwin D. Mead to task for having written 
in the same paper on October 19, 1908, that ''America" was first 
sung on July 4, 1832, at Park Street Church. Mr. Winslow instead 

This h3nim was Giet msng at the Bowdoin Street Church, of which Rev. Hub- 
bard Winslow was thai [1832] pastor and LoweU Mason the organist and con- 
ductor of the choir . . . The hymn with other selections, was sung by the 
Sunday school, aided by the choir before a laige audience in the Bowdoin Street 
Church. Subsequently, at a combined service of Sunday schools, the hymn 
was sung in the Park Street Church . . . 

This, if true, woidd interfere seriously with Edward Everett Hale's 
delightful little story, how he on the Fourth of July, 1832, after hav- 
ing spent all his hoUday money on root beer, ginger snaps, and oysters 
at the celebration on Boston Common, on his way home marched 
with other children into Park Street Church and "thus by merest 
chance," as Mr. KobbS retells the story, and because his money had 
been expended so rapidly, was present at the first singing of the hymn, 
which is national enough to be called "America." Mr. Winslow, 
whatever the merits of his claim may be, has not supported his state- 
ments with any evidence strong enough to imdermine the fact, as 
Mr. Mead wrote in his rejoinder on October 27, 1908, that Reverend 
Smith "said it again and again in personal conversation, in public 
addresses, and in print" how "it was at the Park Street Church that 
the famous hymn was first sung" on July 4, 1832. To this the author 
adhered imtil his death without giving to any other accoimt even the 
benefit of doubt. For instance, in an article in the New York 
World, January 20, 1895, reprinted from there in the Critic, 1895, 
he expUcitly said: 

It was at this children's Fourth of July celebration that "America^ was first 

"America" is perhaps too hymnlike and devotional in character 
for a national anthem, and possibly is pervaded too much by a peculiar 
New England flavor. It is also eminently peaceful and indeed so 
much so, as was remarked above, that the author deliberately crossed 
out the only verse with allusion to war. Yet, these can not really be 
considered shortcomings of ''My coxmtry 'tis of thee" as a national 
song and woidd at all events be outweighed by the great advantage 
that ''America" is appropriate for all occasions and professions, for 

America. 77 

old and young and for both sexes. It does not sound odd from the 
mouth of a woman as does, for instance, ''The Star-Spangled Banner/' 
However, the mam objection raised against ''America" has been 
the union of the words with that foreign air of cosmopolitan usage 
"God save the King." Yet there is this difference, which should 
never be overlooked. If the Danes or the Prussians use "Ood save 
the King," they have deUberately borrowed it from the British. 
Not so with us. "God save the King" was, before 1776, as much 
our national anthem as that of the motherland. Being a British air 
it belonged to the British colonists just as much as it did to the Britons 
at home. When we gained national independence, did the Americans 
forthwith deprive themselves of the EngUsh language, of English 
literatiure, English tastes, of all the ties formed by an English ances- 
try? Why shoidd, then, Americans renoxmce their original part- 
ownership of the air of "God save the King?" Why should it not be 
perfectly natxu'al for them, in short, American, to use for thdr national 
anthem an air which, historically considered, they need not even bor- 
row? Certain it is that after 1776 the air was not treated with this 
comparatively recent chauvinism. Young America sang patriotic 
songs like "God save America," "God save George Washington," 
"God save the President," and that "song made by a Dutch lady at 
the Hague for the sailors of the five American vessels at Amsterdam, 
Jime, 1779," printed in the Pennsylvania Packet and called "God 
save the thirteen States," without the sUghtest misgivings. Thomas 
Dawes, jr., used the air for his ode simg at the entertainment given 
on Bimker's HiU by the proprietors of Charles River bridge at the 
opening of the same in 1786 or 1787. It begins "Now let rich miisic 
sound," and may be foimd on pages 133-134 of the American Musical 
Miscellany, 1798. Indeed, this once standard collection included 
(on pp. 130-132) an "Ode for the Fourth of Jidy," the words of which 
"Come all ye sons of song" were sung to the supposedly im-American 
air of "God save the King." The most curious use, however, was 
made of this air by an early American siiffragette. In the Phila- 
delphia Minerva, October 17, 1795, appeared in the "Comii of Apollo" 
a poem xmder the title "Rights of Woman" by a lady, tune "God 
save America," and beginning: 

God Bave each Female's right 
Show to her raviflh'd sight 
Woman is free. 

To contribute to the discussion of the origin of " God save the King" 
from this side of the ocean would be preposterous. Whether Chap- 
pell, Chrysander, Cummings, etc., have exhausted the subject or not 
woidd be extremely difficult for any American to investigate. The 
literatiure mentioned in the appendix to this report will enable those 



interested in the problem to exercise their critical facoltieSy though 
it is very doubtful if they could sum up the whole matter more 
admirably than was done by Sir George Grove and Mr. Frank Eadson 
in the new edition of Grove's ''Dictionary of Music & Musicians." 
Yet one remark I feel unable to repress. The efforts unreservedly 
to attribute the air of ''God save the King'' to Dr. John Bull 
(1619), merely because a few notes are similar, remind me of Mr. 
Elson's witty observation that with such arguments the main theme 
of the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony would come 
very close to being inspired by ''Yankee Doodle." 


''Yankee Doodle'' is sometimes called a national song — incor- 
rectly so, because, with a now practically obsolete text or texts, it 
is hardly ever smig, but merely played as an instrumental piece. 
Though no longer a national song, it is still a national air and second 
only to ''Dixie" in patriotic popularity. For one himdred and 
fifty years "Yankee Doodle" has appealed to our people, and the 
tune shows no sign of passing into obUvion. Surely, a time of such 
vitality must have some redeeming features. This remark is directed 
against those who have ridiculed the musical merits of "Yankee 
Doodle" or treated it with contempt. That Schubert would not 
have composed such an air is obvious enough, and it is equally 
obvious that as a national air "Yankee Doodle" does not direct 
itself to our sense of majesty, solemnity, dignity. It frankly appeals 
to our sense of humor. Critics, pedantic or flippant, have over- 
looked the fact that every nation has its humorous, even burlesque, 
patriotic airs, and that these are just as natiural and useful as solemn 
airs — indeed, more so, occasionally. As a specimen of burlesque, 
even "slangy," musical humor, "Yankee Doodle" may safely hold 
its own against any other patriotic air. But why apologize or 
explain, since the matter was siunmed up so neatly many years 
ago — at least as early as the Songster's Museum, Hartford, 1826, 
in the lines: 

Yankee Doodle is the tune 

Americans delight in 
'Twill do to whisue, sing or play, 

And just the thing for fighting. 

which apparently are the polished descendants of the lines in the 
Columbian Songster, 1799, imder the title of "American Spirit:" 

Sing Yankee Doodle, that fine tune 

Americans delight in. 
It suits for peace, it suits for fun, 

It suits as well for fighting. 

It may be added that the air has foimd its way with more or less 
effect into the works of modem composers, such as Rubinstein, 
Wieniawski, Schelling. However, be its esthetic appeal to musicians 
weak or strong, this much is certain: Exceedingly few airs have 
stirred antiquarians to pile a mass of literature aroimd their origin 


80 Ya nkee Doodle. 

as has ''Yankee Doodle." But how grotesque, that the two most 
painstaking contributions to the subject of "Yankee Doodle" should 
have remained xmpublished! I mean those by Mr. Moore and 
Mr. Matthews. Mr. George H. Moore's paper, called ''Notes on 
the origin and history of Yankee Doodle," and read first before 
the New York Historical Society on December 1, 1885, acquired for 
its author the reputation of knowing more about our air than any 
other person then living; yet this famous paper was never printed. 
Indeed, even the manuscript disappeared in the fogs of mystery 
xmtil Mr. Albert Matthews, of Boston, whose amazingly elaborate 
research in the history of Americanisms brought him into close con- 
tact with "Yankee Doodle," traced it to Doctor Moore's son. 
Mr. Matthews made extracts from the manuscript for his own pur- 
pose, and this purpose has been for many years to write an exhaustive 
history of "Yankee Doodle" — ^at any rate, as far as its literary history 
goes. Mr. Matthews contributed several papers on the subject to 
the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, but these papers, too, have 
remained xmpublished and are not accessible to the public; nor 
have I seen them, but, after having collected the bulk of my data 
and having gained control over the subject in form and substance, 
I entered into a fruitful correspondence — ^mutually fruitful, I hope — 
with Mr. Matthews on "Yankee Doodle." His generosity in parting 
with data and information; patiently gathered for his own work 
and perhaps for theories differing from mine, has enabled me to 
polish this report and in many places to strengthen the line of 
argiunent where I felt dissatisfied with it. 


The nickname "Yankee" is usually and has so been applied by 
Europeans for a long time to citizens of the United States in general 
as distinguished from other Americans. In our own country the nick- 
name still retains a New England flavor, in keeping with the history 
of the term. This statement seems to be contradicted by what 
Mr. Albert Matthews wrote to the author under date of November 30, 

It has been taJken for granted by all writers that originally the word Yankee was 
applied to New Englanders only. My material shows that this is a mistake and 
that originally the word was applied by the British to any American colonist, and 
was applied by the American colonists themselves to the inhabitants of some 
colony other than their own . Thus, Pennsyl vanians called the Connecticut settlers 
in the Wyoming Valley Yankees, but did not call themselves Yankees. Again, 
Virginians called Mary landers Yankees, but did not apply the term to themselves. 
I am speaking, you understand, of the decade between 1765 and 1775. Now as 
the year 1775 is appro%ched, it is undoubtedly true that there was a tendency to 
locate the Yankees more especially in New England. 

Ya nkee Doodle. 81 

Mr. Matthews's material has not yet been published, and it is not yet 
necessary to accept his interpretation of reference to the early use of 
"Yankee" as the only correct one. Therefore, the author of this 
report still holds that the nickname, while perhaps originally not 
confined to New Englanders, was preferably applied to them by the 
colonists and that a Virginian, Mary lander, Pennsylvanian, or New 
Yorker of colonial times, let us say after 1760, would hardly have con- 
sidered it a compliment to be called " Yankee.'' 

This does not argue that the British knew or always drew the local 
distinction, or that their use of the word always implied ridicule either 
of the Americans in general or the New Englanders in particular. At 
any rate, no satirical flavor attaches to the word wlien Gren. James 
Wolfe (see his "life," 1864, p. 437, by R. Wright) wrote under date 
of June 19, 1758, "North East Harbour (Louisbourg) to General 

My poets are now so fortified that I can afford you the two companies of Yankees 
and the more as they are better for ranging and scouting than either work or 

How sectional the term still was shortly before our war for inde- 
pendence may be illustrated by a reference to J. H. T.'s conmiunica- 
tion to the Historical Magazine (1857, Vol. I, p. 375): 

In ** Oppression,** a Poem by an American with notes by a North Briton, . . . 
London, Printed; Boston, Reprinted . . . 1765, thb word is introduced and 
explained as follows. The writer denounces Mr. Huske (then a member of the 
House of Commons, for Maldon in Essex), as the originator of the scheme for 
taxing the colonies; 

''From meanness first, this Portsmouth Yankey rose 
And still to meanness all his conduct flows; 
This alien upstart, by obtaining friends. 
From T-wn-nd*s clerk, a M-ld-n member ends." 

[Note] ' ' Portsmouth Yankey.' ' It seems our hero being a new Englander by birth, 
has a right to the epithet of Yankey; a name of derision, I have been informed, given 
by the Southern people on the- Continent, to those of New England: what meaning 
there is in the word, I never could learn." (p. 10). 

In the same volume of the Historical Magazine (pp. 91-92) atten- 
tion is drawn by B. H. H. to an unpublished letter which Robert Yates, 
the sheriff of Albany County, N. Y., wrote on July 20, 1771, on his 
return from an official visit to Bennington, Vt., and in which he refers 
to the inhabitants of this town, thus: 

We received an account from the Yankies that they would not give up the pos- 
session [of the farm] but would keep it at all events. 

and again: 

We had discovered that the Yankees had made all the necessary preparations 
to give us the warmest reception. 

86480-09 6 

82 Ya nkee Doodle . 

In the extract of a letter dated Hartford and printed in the New 
York Journal, June 15, 1776, describing the capture of letters from 
the "high flying'* Tory, Robert Temple, occurs this sentence: 

Other letters are full of invectivee againfit the i)oor Yankees, as they call us. 

In the ''Journal of the most remarkable occurrences in Quebec, 
1775-1776, by an oflScer of the garrison'* (rep. by the N. Y. Hist. Soc. 
1880, p. 222), we read: 

The New Yorkers look upon themselves as being far superior to what they call 
the Yankies, meaning the people of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode-Island 
and New Hampshire, who effect a disgusting pre-eminence and take the lead in 
every thing. 

Rev. Wm. Gordon, when describing the skirmishes at Concord and 
Lexington in the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 10, 1775, says: 

They [the British troops] were roughly handled by the Yankees, a term of 
reproach for the New Englanders, when applied by the regulars. 

Silas Deane, when writing June 3, 1775 one of his characteristic 
letters from Philadelphia to his wife, after describing graphically the 
Continental Congress, remarks: 

. . . indeed, not only the name of a Yankee, but of a Connecticut man in pais 
ticular, is become very respectable this way, 

and James Thacher, in his Military Journal from 1775 to 1783 (p. 72), 
commenting on the difference '^between troops from Southern States 
and those from New England,'* remarked: 

it could scarcely be expected that people from distant colonies, differing in mannera 
and prejudices could at once harmonize in friendly intercourse. Hence we too 
frequently hear the burlesque epithet of Yankee from one party, and that of Buck- 
skin, by way of retort, from the other. 

These and other references would imply not only that the tem;i was 
preferably used by New Yorkers and the British soldiers against New 
Englanders; that it was derisive, or at least not complimentary; that 
it was comparatively unfamiliar to the New Englanders; and that it 
had not yet been adopted by them for home use. They adopted it 
during the war, however, and took, as happens quite frequently to 
derisive nicknames, great pride in calling themselves, or being called, 
"Yankees." For instance, Anburey states in his "Travels,*' writing 
from Cambridge, 1777, ** after the affair of Bunker's Hill the Americans 
gloried in it.'' 


The annotator of the poem "Oppression" expressed his inability 
in 1766 to explain the meaning of the word. To-day he would rather 
experience the difficulty of choosing between the various etymological 
explanations. The word "Yankee" gradually came to fascinate the 

Ya nkee Doodle. 83 

historian of words until about 1850 this fascination reached its climax. 
Since then the craze has subsided, yet any number of explanations 
are still current and proffered as f acts, merely on the presumption that 
embellished reiteration of statements correctly or incorrectly quoted 
produces facts. Without an attempt to be exhaustive, it will be well 
to bring some semblance of order into this literature by going back, as 
far as possible, to the form in which the different and sometimes 
fantastically developed theories originally appeared. 

Possibly the first (in print) appeared in the Pennsylvania Evening 
Post, May 25, 1775, reprinted from there in the New York Gazetteer, 
June 1 , 1775. It is in form of a short article : 


When the New England colonies were first settled, the inhabitants were obliged 
to fight their way against many nations of Indians. They found but little difil- 
culty in subduing them at all, except one tribe, who were known by the name of 
the Yankoos, which signifies invincible. After the waste of much blood and 
treasure, the Yankoos were at last subdued by the New Englanders. The remains 
of this nation (agreeable to the Indian custom) transferred their name to their con- 
querors. For a while they were called Yankoos; but from a corruption, common 
to names in all languages, they got through time the name of Yankees. A name 
which we hope will soon be equal to that of a Roman, or an ancient Englishman. 

It is a suspicious coincidence that the derivation of "Yankee" from 
Yankoo, meaning ** invincible,*' should have been brought forward at 
the beginning of our hostilities with the English. Furthermore, it 
never has been the Indian custom to transfer their names to their con- 
querors, nor has it been the custom of the latter to acquiesce in such a 
transfer, though they adopted many Indian names for localities. 
Worst of all for this etymology, which has been accepted in all serious- 
ness by several writers, an Indian tribe by the name of "Yankoos " is 
not known to have existed. To illustrate the extremes to which 
credulity in historical matters may lead, the following extraordinary 
yam with reference to the " Yankoo " theory may be quoted from the 
Magazine of American History (1891, vol. 25, p. 266), where L. A. 
Alderman writes : 

John Dresser Chamberlain, my grandfather, wrote in 1870: *^ According to tra- 
dition we descended from two brothers who came from England, one of whom 
settled in Massachusetts and the other in Connecticut. Benjamin Chamberlain, 
a descendant of the Massachusetts stock, was a great warrior against the Indians, 
and many of his exploits were printed in his biography. One was that he fought 
the Yankoo chief— Yankoo meaning * conqueror' in English — and whipped him. 
Then the chief said: *I no more Yankoo, you Yankoo,' and from that time and 
circumstance the name was transferred to the whites, now called Yankees. 
Benjamin Chamberlain lived at Southborough, Massachusetts, during the Revo- 
lutionary war." [II] 

84 Ya nkee Doodle. 

A second theory of derivation was first printed in Gtordon's His- 
tory of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of 
the United States of America, (London, 1788, Vol. I, p. 481) : 

You may wish to know the origin of the term Yankee. Take the best account of 
it which your friend can procure^ It was a cant, favorite word with Earner Jona- 
than Hastings of Cambridge about 1713. Two aged ministers, who were at the 
college in that town, have told me, they remembered it to have been then in use 
among the students, but had no recollections of it before that period. The in- 
ventor used it to express excellency. A Yankee good horse, or Yankee cnder and 
the like, were an excellent good horse, and excellent cider. The students used to 
hire horses of him; their intercourse with him, and his use of the term upon all 
occasions, led them to adopt it and they gave him the name of Yankee Jon. He 
was a worthy, honest man, but no conjurer. This could not escape the notice of 
the coll^[iates. Yankee probably became a by-word among them to express a 
weak, simple, outward person; was carried from the college with them when they 
left it and was in that way inculcated ... till from its currency in New England, 
it was at length taken up and unjustly applied to the New Englanders in common, 
as a term of reproach. 

This version, of course, depends on the actual existence of a farmer, 
Jonathan Hastings, about 1713. The assiimption is corroborated by 
the "Proprietors's Records" of Cambridge, Mass., which prove a 
farmer and tanner, Jonathan Hastings, to have been quite prominent 
in the affairs of the town about this time. Page's History of Cam- 
bridge, 1877, fiuther proves that Jonathan was bom July 15, 1672, 
and died August 20, 1742. These facts do not yet establish a con- 
nection between Jonathan Hastings and the use of the term " Yankee " 
as maintained by Gordon, but the editor of the Massachusetts Maga- 
zine, 1795 (p. 301), while tracing the author of "Father Abdy's will,'* 
incidentally comes to our rescue. He writes that Rev. John Seccombe, 
the reputed author of "Father Abdy's will,'* in a letter (which the 
editor had before him) dated "Cambridge, Sept. 27, 1728,^' to his 
friend Thaddeus Mason, both Harvard men, gives a * 'most humoroiis 
narrative of the fate of a goose roasted at ' Yankey Hastings's,' " and 
it concludes with a poem on the occasion in the mock heroic. 

Accordingly, Jonathan Hastings, of Cambridge, bore the nickname 
yof "Yankey" in 1728 at Harvard. This may be considered an 
established fact, and though it does not necessarily follow that Gor- 
don's accoimt is based on equal facts, we may accept the reminis- 
cences of the two aged ministers as substantially correct, however 
embellished in course of time. The objectionable feature of this 
account is that Hastings is called the inventor of the term. It is 
all the more objectionable in view of the following communication of 
J. T. F. to Notes and Queries, 1878 (5th ser., vol. 10, p. 467) : 

The inventory of the effects of WiUiam Marr, formerly of Morpeth, and after- 
wards '^of Carolina, in parts beyond the seas, but in the parish of St. Dunstan, 
Stepney" (1725), ends with, "Item one negro man named Yankee to be sold." 
Mr. W. Woodman, of Morpeth, has the document. 

Ya nkee Doodle. 85 

The natural inference from this is that Hastings did not invent the 
term. He bore it as a nickname about 1728, and probably came to 
it in the manner described by the tradition. Where he and from 
whom he borrowed it remains to be ascertained, and also whether he 
used the word in its original meaning or simply (though it may have 
had a totally different meaning originally) because he liked the 
soimd of it. At any rate, the Jonathan Hastings theory leads merely 
to an early use of the word, but not to its origin. Nor is the process 
plausible that the term should have become so popular through the 
exertions of Jonathan Hastings and his Harvard friends that it 
spread from Cambridge, Mass., through the vast but thinly popu-^ 
lated colonies and became, within fifty years, the reproachful nick- 
name of the New Englanders in general, among whom the term 
"Yankee" does not appear to have been current. 

A third derivation of the term "Yankee" is given by Anburey, 
who in 1777 wrote in a letter from Cambridge (Travels through . . . 
America," 1789, vol. 2, p. 50) : 

... it is derived from a Cherokee word, eankke, which signifies coward and 
slave. This epithet of yankee was bestowed upon the inhabitants of New England 
by the Virginians, for not assisting them in a war with the Oherokees, and they 
have always been held in derision by it. But the name has been more prevalent 
since the commencement of hostilities . . . 

This statement would be acceptable if it could be corroborated. A 
letter of inquiry addressed to the Bureau of American Ethnology 
brought this reply (August 18, 1908) from Mr. James Mooney, the 
eminent authority on the Cherokee Indians: 

The Cherokee words for coward and for 9lave (worker, or live stock property) 
respectively, are udashuti and atstnaUHOU. 

The Cherokee name for the '' Yankees/' Ani- Yunffi, is simply their form for 
"Yankee/* in the plural . . . 

In private conversation Mr. Mooney further expressed his opinion 
that no word like earikJee, of whatever meaning, exists in the Cherokee 

A third Indian derivation was advanced in ''Diedrich Knicker- 
bocker's History of New York", (1809 (First ed.), vol. 1, p. 169), in 
the chapter on "The ingenious people of Connecticut and there- 
abouts." Diedrich waxes eloquent over "that grand palladium of 
our country, the liberty of speech, or as it has been more vulgarly 
denominated the gift of {he gdb,*^ and then proceeds: 

The simple aborigines of the land for a while contemplated these strange folk 
in utter astonishment, but discovering that they wielded harmless though noisy 
weapons, and were a lively, ingenious, good-humoured race of men, they became 
very friendly and sociable, and gave them the name of YanohieSf which in the 
Mais-Tschusaeg (or Massachusett) language signifies silent men — a waggish appel- 
lation, since shortened into the familiar epithet of Yanieet, which they retain 
unto the present day. 

86 Ya nkee Doodle. 

This is in Washington Irving's best satirical vein. He makes his 
Diedrich Knickerbocker kill two birds with one stone, satirizing the 
New Englanders and at the same time those freak etymologies of 
the term ''Yankee" that were just then begiiming to attract public 
attention. Diedrich Ejoickerbocker's delightful narrative is full of 
such etymological pranks. Yet some people did not appreciate the 
joke nor see the point, but adduced in all seriousness Washington 
Irving's authority when further experimenting with the puzzling 

The derivation of ''Yankee" from the Indian language, which has 
attracted more attention than any other and is now current in the 
principal dictionaries, is presimiably due to Heckewelder's "History, 
Manners, and Customs of the Indian Nations," Philadelphia, 1819. 
In the third chapter he writes of the "Indian relations and the con- 
duct of the Europeans towards them," and while dealing with the 
Lenape, Mohicans, and kindred tribes, speaks of the Indian tradition 
surrounding the arrival first of the "Dutchemaan" at " Manahack- 
tanienk^^ (Manhattan) and subsequently of the " Yengeese.'* In a 
footnote he explains the latter term as being "an Indian corruption 
of the word English, whence probably the nickname Yankees.'' 
This passing hint is elaborated by Heckewelder in the thirteenth 
chapter of his book (p. 130) as follows: 

The first name given by the Indians to the Europeans who landed in Virginia 
was Wapsid Lenape (white people), when, however, afterwards they began to 
commit murder on the red men, whom they pierced with swords, they gave to 
the Viiginians the name Mechanackiean (long knives) to distinguish them from 
others of the same colour. 

In New England, they at first endeavoured to imitate the sound of the national 
name of the English^ which they pronounced Yengees, They also called them 
CJiauquaquockf (men of knives) for having imported these instruments into the 
country, which they gave as presents to the natives, a The Mohicans of that 
country caUed them Tschachgoos; [later] they dropped that name, and caUed the 
whites by way of derision, Schwannack^ which signifies salt heingSf or bitter thinge. 

. . . They never apply it to the QuakerSf whom they greatly love . . . they 
caU them QuaekeUf not having in their language the sound expressed by our 
letter R . . . 

These were the names which the Indians gave to the whites until the middle 
of the Revolutionary War, when they were reduced to the following three: 

1. Mechanachioan or Chanschican (long knives) [Virginians and Middle colonies]. 

2. Yengees. This name they now exclusively applied to the people of New 
England, who, indeed, appeared to have adopted it, and were, as they still are, 
generally through the country called Yankees, which is evidently the same name 
with a trifling alteration . . . The proper English they called Saggenash, 

3. Quaeckels . . . Not only the Delawares, but all the nations roimd them 
make use of these names and with the same relative application. 

o Rogers's Key into the language of the Indians of New England, ch. VI. 

Yankee Doodle. 87 

Before analyzing this theory of Rev. John Heckewelder, which has 
been adopted with more or less bold yariations, one contemporaneous 
etymological attempt which runs in a similar vein may be mentioned. 
It appeared as a note to the appendix of John Trumbull's ''Poetical 
works," Hartford, 1820: 

Yanhies. The first settlers of New England were mostly emigrants from London 
and its vicinity, and exclusively styled themselves the English. The Indians, 
in attempting to utter the word English, with their broad gutteral accent, gave 
it a sound which would be nearly represented in this way, Yaunghees, the letter 
g being pronoimced hard, and approaching to the sound of h joined with a strong 
aspirate, like the Hebrew ehetz, or the Greek chi, and the I suppressed, as almost 
impossible to be distinctly hesad in that combination. The Dutch settlers on 
the river Hudson and the adjacent country, during their long contest concerning 
the right of territory, adopted the name, and applied it in contempt to the inhab- 
itants of New England . . . This seems the most probable origin of the term. 
The pretended Indian tribe of Yankees does not appear to have ever had an 
existence . . . 

The simi and substance of these derivations is the supposed dif- 
ficulty of the Indians in pronouncing the word '^ English" without 
corrupting it. The explanation seemed plausible, and it was adopted, 
mentioning Heckewelder as authority, by Webster in the first edition 
(1828) of his dictionary. By 1841 had been added "or more prob- 
ably of the French word Anglais,*' but in 1848 the editor, not seeing 
the fine point of defense, changed Angloia into Anglais. In support 
of this corruption theory a passage in Hutchinson's "Histoiy of the 
Colony of Massachusetts-Bay,*' (1764, vol. 1, p. 479), was remem- 

It was observed that without the greatest difficulty, they [the Indians] could 
not be brought to pronounce the letter L or R, For Lobster, they said Nobstan. 

Having remembered this, one M. N. G., in Notes and Queries, 1877 
(5th ser., vol. 7, p. 338), summed the whole theory up with all its 
virtues and defects in these words: 

They [the Indians] lengthened and softened the vowels; thus even a clever 
Indian could not pronounce English better than Eengeesh. Most Indians would 
be still wider off the mark and the common pronunciation was probably Angees 
(the g hard), or AvJcees, 

The trouble with this entire theory is that Rev. John Heckewelder 
(bom 1743 at Bedford, England) did not begin his labors among the 
Indians until 1762. He abandoned the task before the expiration 
of the year. Between 1765 and 1771 he went on short missionary 
expeditions. His actual career as an important evangelist among 
the Indians began in 1771, his real services to Indian archeology, 
however, not until 1810, and his book on the Indians was not pub- 
lished until 1819. Sixty years are ample to form mental associations 
of disconnected data to amalgamate heterogeneous historical matter 


88 Yankee Doodle. 

and traditions. Important as Heckewelder's '^ History'' is, it is now 
reputed to suffer from too credulous an assimilation of fact and fancy, 
and while much of the book reads as if he had gathered the informa- 
tion at first handy it may easily be proved that it frequently was of 
second hand and that previous books on the subject had been freely 
used. For instance, he says that the Englishmen were called 
"Chauquaquock (men of knives)" and he refers in a footnote to 
"Rogers's Key ..." Such a book does not exist, but Heckewelder 
did mean and use Roger Williams's "Key into the language of 
America," London, 1643, and there may be found (see Reprint by 
the Rhode Island Hist. Soc., 1827, p. 51): 

Ghauqock. A knife. 

Obe.: Whence they call Englishmen Chauquaquock, that is knivemen. . . . 

To this he adds, on page 65 : 

Wadtacone-niiaog^Englifihmen, men, that is, coat-men, or clothed. 

and on page 116: 

Englishmiomuck — Englishmen . 
Dutchmn&nuck — Dutchmen . 

Though the absence of R and L in the Indian names of the Key is 
remarkable, not a word is said about the difficulty of pronouncing 
the word Englishf and not a single word even faintly resembling 
YavJcee is mentioned in the whole Key. On the other hand, Roger 
Williams does say, when treating of the variety of aboriginal dialects, 
page 96 : 

So that although some pronounce not L nor R, yet it is the most proper dialect 
of other places, contrary to many reports. 

In the light of Roger Williams's Key, I64S, Heckewelder's state- 
ment, 1819, imsupported by contemporary evidence, that the "In- 
dians at first endeavoured to imitate the sound of the national name 
of the English, which they pronounced Yengees,^^ loses its authority. 
Secondly, the critical historical method would now demand that the 
tribes with or without the L and R be nicely separated, and that it 
be traced, how either fared with their supposed futile attempt to 
pronounce the word "English." Only by this process of investiga- 
tion would we come nearer the Indian origin of the word "Yankee," 
if it really has an Indian origin. The manner in which this origin 
is developed backward does not appear to strengthen the theory. 
For instance, let it be supposed the word "Yankee" originated with 
the tribes who experienced no difficulty in pronouncing the letter 
L. Is it reasonable that then the word "English" could have 
become "Yankee," by changing the sound e into a, adding y, harden- 
ing g, dropping i and shf If the word originated with tribes who did 
not enjoy the letters I and r, the objections become still more numer- 

Ya nkee Doodle. 89 

ous. We know from Hutchinson that such Indians liked to sub- 
stitute n for I and r ("lobster" becoming "nobstan"), and we know 
from Gk)vemor Edward Winslow's "Good news from England, Lond. 
1624," that the Indians insisted on calling him Winsnow. It follows 
that the word "Exiglish," even if pronounced with a broad E, either 
becomes "Engish" or "Engnish." But the goal is "Yankee" and 
can be reached only by subtle softenings, broadenings, clippings, 
transformations, and additions of soimd. The weakness of this 
derivation could not escape the attention of the few, who are by 
nature at all fitted to reason not only logically but methodically, and 
efforts were made to substitute the word Anglais for English, thus 
selecting the Indians of French Canada as possible godfathers of the 
New England Yankees. Brushing aside the Indians' preference for 
substituting an n instead of dropping an I altogether, one could with 
less diflBculty arrive from An^glais at Yankee. Unfortunately for 
this shift of responsibility from our to the Canadian Indians, the old 
French word for Englishmen is An^glois, and therewith, of course, 
the theory again drifts away from the word "Yankee." 

It is, in view of these observations, not at all imlikely that Hecke- 
welder's theory is one a ^posteriori, an afterthought, knowing, as he 
plainly did, that the nickname of "Yankee" was confined in his 
yoimger days more or less to the New Englanders, and having pos- 
sibly heard it suspected that the word was of Indian provenience, he 
combined fact and hypothesis without further analysis. He took 
for granted what was merely a historical rumor, developed his story 
from this artificial premise, and made the facts subservient to his 

To-day our ethnologists, among them Mr. James Mooney, point to 
other and even more grotesque corruptions of English words by the 
Indians, and by subtle phililogical analysis they arrive at the con- 
clusion that it was not impossible for the word English (with the 
broad E) to have become Yankee in the mouths of the southern New 
England Indians. However, they merely concede the possiMlity 
from the standpoint of philology and do not positively commit them- 
selves to Heckewelder's derivation. Nor would this be scientific, 
since we have no evidence that the Indians actually used the word 

Simultaneously with the theory of Indian origin sprang up one 
which carries us to the Orient, to Persia. One B. H. H. in the His- 
torical Magazine (1857, vol. 1, pp. 156-167), drew attention to an 
article in the eighth volume of the Monthly Anthology, Boston, 
1803-1811. This article, dated "New Haven, March 2, 1810," and 
signed W, purports to have been copied from the Connecticut Herald, 
New Haven, and the editor suspected N . . . W . . . jun., esq., 
to have been the author. This can but mean Noah Webster, and it 

90 Ya nkee Doodle. 

is significant in this connection that the Monthly Anthology was in 
the habit of attacking Webster's ponderous methods. The article 
is much too long for full quotation. It begins with the statement 
that — 

V Yankee appeare to have been used formerly by some of our common formers in 

its genuine sense. It was an epithet descriptive of excellent qualities — ^as a 
Yankee horse, that is, a horse of high spirit and other good properties . . . 

After this unmistakable allusion to farmer Yankey Hastings and 
some extraordinary feats of etymology of the type of Cicero's lucus 
a non lucendo, the author steers with full sails into a Persian origin 
of the word, as follows: 

Now in the Persian language, Janghe or Jenghe [that is Yankee] signifies a war- 
like man, a swift horse; also one who is prompt and ready in action, one who is 
magnanimous . . . The word Yankee claims a very honourable parentage, for 
it is the precise title assumed by the celebrated Mongolian Khan, Jenghis; and 
in our dialect, his titles literally translated would be Yankee King, that is. War- 
like Chief. . . . 

The editor of the Monthly Anthology added that this article reads 
as if ''intended for a buslesque upon those etymologists who are 
always forcing derivations beyond all boimds of probability." Not- 
withstanding these hintS| this etymological hoax directed against 
Noah Webster, whose dictionary does not contain any such Persian 
definition, has been treated seriously. Its champions pointed to the 
supposed fact that Morier in his "Journey through Persia" said that 
the Persians of that day spoke of America as Jenghee Duniah, and a 
certain W. S. A., imder the title of "Possible Eastern Origin of Yan- 
Icee Doodle, had this to say in the New England Historical and Gen- 
ealogical Register, volume 20, July, 1866: 

/ A Possible Eastern Origin of Yankee Doodle, I made the following extract 

from a volume printed in London about twenty-five years ago. It is the '^Journal 
of Residence in England . . . originally written in Persian by H. R. H., Najaf 
Koolee Merza . . . London," without date. Vol. II, p. 146: 

' ' As to America, which is known in the Turkish language by the name of Yankee 
Dooniah, or the New World.*' On asking I found that this is generally correct, 
but the literal translation of the words is '^End of the World.'' 

More fantastic things have happened than the importation of an 
oriental word " Yanghee " to America. Simply because such a deriva- 
tion appears to be fantastic, it must not bejbrushed aside without 
an eflFort to disprove it, for, after all, the derivations thus far criticised 
are not very much less fantastic. However, the oriental theory can 
be proved to be not only fantastic and extremely impossible, but 

In the first place, this gentleman surreptitiously, because he wanted 
to prove something, exchanged Yengee or Yenghee and Yankee, not 
aware of the fact that the discovery of a word in the language of 

Ya nkee Doodle. 91 

eome country other than the one where it is known to have been used 
for a century, proves nothing except its use. In the second place, 
Dooniah and Doodle are not even phonetically related. Thirdly, 
the words do not apply to North America, but to South America. 
Says James Morier in his '' Second Journey through Persia between the 
years 1810 and 1816," London, 1818, when describing the return trip 
of the Persian ambassador from England to Asia by way of Cape 

On the 11th of September [1810] we made Cape Frio; and as we approached 
the shore we called the PereianB to look at the Yengee thiniah, or the new world, 
of which in their country they had heard such wonders . . . 

How far this is from "Yankee Doodle" is further illustrated by the 
attempt at a correct pronunciation in the German translation of 
Morier's book (1820): " Jeridschi DunniaJiJ' 

Different again is the derivation as suggested by Salfm Notes and 
Queries, 1879 (5th ser., vol. 11, p. 38): 

The word ''Yanks" is always used in the east of Lincolnshire to describe the 
coarse, untanned leather gaiters worn by the country folk. There was a large 
exodus from this part of the country to America. Might not, therefore, the word 
''Yankee " have been used to distinguish those who wore these gaiters or "yanks", 
the incoming strangers, from the original inhabitants, ^o wore mocassins? 

This is delightfully naive. One naturally asks: Were these 
''yanks" used and known as such as' far back as 1725? Were they 
worn in America, if at all, by New Englanders only? Were these 
gaiters known here as "yanks?'' Who was it that thus distinguished 
between the immigrants from eastern Lincolnshire and the Indians? 

With such fantastic and naive methods the term Yankee may be 
traced to any desired language with more or less plausibility. For 
instance, Mr. Louis C. Elson hints at having read of a Norwegian 
derivation, and Mr. Nason, in a footnote to his "Monogram" (p. 21), 
says that some "deduce it from the old Scotch word Yarikie, a sharp, 
clever woman." 

It would be extraordinary if the fact that "Yankee Doodle" was 
applied to their New England neighbors, preferably by the people 
of New York, whose population in those days was largely of Dutch 
origin, had not invited the attempts to derive the term from the 
Dutch. Ciuiously enough, these attempts, though they all have 
the same object in view, weaken the Dutch theory somewhat by 
their contradictions. 

One of the first, if not the first, attempt to derive the term from 
the Dutch was noted by George Ticknor. There is to be found in 
his "Life, Letters, and Journals" (vol. 2, p. 124), the following entry: 

January f , 18S8, 1 passed the evening with Thierry. ... He is much skiUed 
in etymology, and thinks our etymologies of the word Yankee are all wrong, and 
that, having arisen from the collision and jeerings of the Dutch and English in 

92 Ya nkee Doodle. 

New Yoiic and New England, it is from the Dutch Jan — ^pronounced Van — 
John, with the very common diminutive heef and doodlen, to quaver; which 
would make the whole ^* quavering or psalmrsinging Jacky or Johnny.** Doodle- 
sack means a hagpipe. 

Johnny would refer to John Bull; and if, doodlen be made in the present tense, 
Yankee-doodle would be Johnny that sings psalms, Hart-hee — ^my little dear 
heart, and hundreds of other diminutives, both in endearment and in ridicule, 
are illustrations of the formation of the word. It amused me not a little, and 
seems probable enough as an etymology, better certainly than to bring it with 
Noah Webster from the Persian. 

Somewhat similar is the derivation advanced by William Bell, in 
Notes and Queries, 1853 (vol. 7, p. 103), imder the heading "Yankee, 
its origin and meaning:' ' 

. . . the term is of Anglo-Saxon origin and of home-growth. . . . We may, of 
course, suppose that in the multitude of these Dutch settlers [of New Amsterdam, 
etc.] the names they carried over would be pretty nearly in the same proportion 
as at home. Both then and now the Dutch Jan (the a sotmded very broad and 
long) . . . was the prevailing abbreviation appellative; and it even furnished, in 
Jansen^ etc. (like our Johnson) frequent patronymics, particularly with the fovour- 
ite diminutive eke, Jancke; and so common does it still remain as such, that it 
would be difficult to open the Directory of any decent sized Dutch or Northern 
German town without finding niunerous instances, as Jancke, Jaancke, Jahncke, 
etc., according as custom has settled the orthography in each family. It is 
scarcely necessary to say that the soft /is frequently rendered by yin our English 
reading and speaking foreign words ... to show how easily and naturally the 
above names were transformed into Yahnkee. So far the name as an appellative; 
now for its appropriation as a generic. The prominent names of individuals are 
frequently seized upon by the vulgar as a designation of the people or party in 
which it most prevails . . . therefore, when English interests gained the upper 
hand, and the name of New Amsterdam succmnbed to that of New York, the fresh 
comers, the Englidi settlers, seized upon the most prominent name by which 
to designate its former masters, which extended to the whole of North America, 
as far as Canada: and the addition of doodle, twin brother to noodle, was intended 
to mark more strongly the contempt and mockery by the dominant party. . . . 
It is, however, to the credit of our transatlantic brethren and the best sign of 
their practical good sense, that they have turned the tables on the innuendo 
and by adopting, carried the term into repute by sheer resolution and determinate 
perseverance. . . . 

There the matter rested for a while, except as it was made use of 
for secondhand articles, etc. Then the Notes and Queries, 1877 
(5th ser., vol. 7, p. 338), printed a curiously illogical communication 
in which these words occur: 

Doodle is surely only an imitation of the crowing of a cock — the meaning, if 
any, of Yankee Doodle is New Englanders, be on the alert; or, * * show your spirit." 

The absurdity of this apostrophe in the mouth of Dutchmen the 
correspondent does not see, and we may pass on to the reference in 
Notes and Queries, 1879 (p. 18), in which a reader of Smollett's 

Ya nkee Doodle. 93 

novel "Sir Lancelot Greaves'' (1760) called attention to Captain 
Crowe's words in third chapter: 

Proceed with the story in a direct couiBe, without yawing like a Dutch yanky. 

Here we evidently have a Dutch word which is almost identical 
with "yankee," but what sense can there possibly be in the combi- 
nation of* a Dutch ship with the word doodle, which either means fool 
or to bagpipe music? 

Different again was Dr. Gteorge H. Moore's derivation, who read 
an (unfortimately unpublished) paper on the "Origin and history 
of Yankee Doodle" before the New York Historical Society, Decem- 
ber, 1885. In the meager report of this paper in the Magazine of 
American History (1886, vol. 15, p. 99), we read: 

His theory of its derivation afldgns the origin of the word to the Low-Dutch word 
janker, which signifies ''a howling cur, a yelper, a growler, a grumhling person,*' 
and he formed in the history of relations existing between the English and Dutch 
sufficient reason for calling the English dogs. 

This is driving the point home with a vengeance, and therein lies 
the weakness of the derivation. Different again, and assuming, as 
one naturally would, that "Yankee" has an ironical, sarcastic, but 
not brutally insulting flavor, is the derivation as given by G. W. V. S. 
in the Magazine of American History (1891, vol. 26, p. 236): 

When the Holland Society made its famous pilgrimage to Holland in 1888 . . . 
theHon.H. D.Levyssohn-Norman . . . in the course of a very interesting speech, 
said: *1 Yankee " is an alteration of the Dutch word Jantje (pronounced Yantyea), 
equivalent to Johnnie, a nickname of the Dutch people. In the days of the 
revolution of 1830, the Belgian instirgents gave often to a Dutchman the nick- 
name of ''Jantje Kaas (Johnnie Cheese)/' So that Yankee is derived from 
Jan (John), Jantje being its diminutive. 

But Jantje ( Yantyea) and Yankee are not the same in sound, and 
if this be the correct derivation, it is difficult to see why Yankee 
should have been preferred to the equally easy Yantyea. If the 
Dutch, on the other hand, actually do use Jancke (pronounced 
Yankee) in the sense of Uttle John or Johnnie, then this would be 
the most plausible derivation, and "Yankee Doodle'' would be 
''Johnny Doodle.'' 

To make sure of this point, a letter of inquiry was sent to the 
eminent Dutch musical scholar, D. F. Scheurleer, at The Hague, 
and he answered under date of October 7, 1908, as follows: 

. . . Merkwtlrdig genug hat man sich hier mit der ErOrterung der Bedeuttmg 
des Wortes Yankee sehr wenig befasst. Ausgeschlossen ist es nicht, dass ein 
holl^disches Wort zu Grunde liegt. Der sehr allgemein verbreitete Taufname 
Jan (so allgemein, dass frtlher jeder Kellner mit Jan angerufen wurde) hat viele 
Diminutiv-Formen je nach dem Dialekt. Jantje (spezial-Name fQr unsere 
Matroeen), Jannetje, Jannigie, Janke (nur an einzelnen Orten gebr&uchlich). 

Ich weise darauf hin« ohne daraus eine Folgerung zu machen. 

94 Yankee Doodle. 

These, then, are some of the more or less ingenious attempts at 
the etymology of the word "Yankee/* but not one of them exhibits 
as much learning as the eruditely witty mock derivation of "Porson 
Junior'' from the Greek. This essay (in the Democratic Review, 1839, 
vol. 5, pp. 213-221) is by all odds one of the most brilliant contri- 
butions to the literature of parody. 

Curiously enough the word "doodle" has almost escaped the 
onslaughts of etymologists, and yet this word and not "Yankee" 
may hold the key not only to the etymological problem but to that of 
the origin, or at least of the age of the tune "Yankee Doodle," as 
will be made clear later on. 

One popular derivation of the word "doodle" is from the Scotch 
word doudUf used in the same sense as the German dudeln, the slang 
word for playing music. But the Oxford Dictionary does not trace 
doudle in print earlier than Sir Walter Scott, 1816. The Germans 
also use the word DudelSack for bagpipe, and as the latter is also 
known in the EngUsh language as doodlesacky it stands to reason 
that the Germans borrowed their Dudel-Sack and dudeln from the 
Scotch. Similarly the Dutch word doedelzak and similar words are 
not original with the Dutch, and as Weiland's Woordenboek, 1826, , 
would allow us to infer, are of comparatively recent use with them. 
The Scotch derivation of the word "doodle" is at least plausible, 
whereas statements like this in Notes and Queries, 1877 (April 28), 
that "Doodle is surely only an imitation of a cock," may be relegated 
to the realm of etymological curiosities, inspired perhaps by the 
fact that in G. A. Stevens' Songs, 1772, and elsewhere, occurs the 
expression "cock a doodle do." However, still more acceptable 
than the Scotch, a derivation will appear to be which is based on the 
use of the word "Doodle" in English dramatic literature of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It may be traced there with 
comparative ease as the following references, partly selected from 
Mr. Matthews' unpublished material, will prove: 

1629. John Ford, "The Lover's Melancholy (act III, I): "Vaniah, doodles, 

1681. T. Otway's "The Soldier's Fortune" (act I, 2): Sylvia asks Lady Dunce: 

"Is your piece of mortality such a doting doodle"?" 
1683. In Edward Ravenscroft's "London Cuckolds" "Doodle," and "Wiseacre'* 

are the "Two aldermen of London." 
1706. In E.Ward's "Humours of a Coffee House "(act II, 283) iSnorZ says: "Thou 

art the meerest Tom Doodle . . . sfoie Nature had too much work upon. 

her hands when thou wer't making, and clos'd thy skull before she put 

the brains in." 

1730. In H. Fielding's Tom Thumb "Noodle" and "Doodle" are "Courtiers 

in place, and consequently of that party that is uppermosti " 

1731. Chetwood: "(}enerousFreeMa8on":or, the Constant lady with the humours 

of Squire Noodle, and his Man Doodle. A tragi-comi-tiircical ballad 
opera ..." 

Ya nkee Doodle. 95 

1731. In the cast o! the Battle of the poets appear Noodle and Doodle as Judges 

of the Contention. 
1733. In "Rome excised. A new tragi-comi ballad opera "Doodle'' is "Brother 

to Cyrenaeus.** 

Whether or not Johnson in 1755 correctly saw in "doodle" a 
cant word possibly corrupted from do little, its meaning is clearly 
(see Oxford Dictionary) that of a "simpleton, noodle, silly, or foolish 
fellow,'' but generally of the rural type. If these derivations of 
"doodle" be adopted, all difficulties of explaining the meaning of 
"Yankee Doodle" yanish. Whatever the origin of "Yankee" 
might have been, after "Yankee" was preferably applied to the 
New England ers, "Yankee Doodle" would simply mean a New 
England doodle, and it is not to be wondered at that the New 
Englanders did not take kindly to this nickname "Yankee," 
especially not if it meant "Johnny." 

oenealooy op the theobies on the obigin op the song "yankee 


Though sometimes dragged into the discussion, the derivation 
of the word "Yankee" evidently furnishes no tangible clue to the 
origin of the song "Yankee Doodle." The etymological labyrinth 
merely leads to the probability that the words "Yankee Doodle" 
were not available for a song until after 1700. For the discovery 
of the origin of the melody, the first recorded use of the word ' ' Yankee ' ' ^y^ 
is of absolutely no help, since melodies, from which certain words 
finally become inseparable, often precede these words by decades. 
The origin of the song must be traced in a totally diflFerent direction. 
As was the case with the derivation of the word " Yankee," numerous 
conflicting accounts of the origin of the song exist. Most of these, 
too, are merely inaccurate and uncritical reiterations, embellishments, 
combinations of previous theories. Only after the genealogy of 
these theories had been established, some main arteries became 
discernible in the confused mass of tradition. An attempt is here 
made to trace the original sources of the various theories, and as 
far as was possible, the original sources only, since all later reitera- 
tions, etc., contain nothing substantiaUy new and merely cover the 
main paths with impenetrable underbrush and rubbish. 

Possibly the earliest allusion to the origin of the song is contained 
in Gordon's "History of the Independence of the United States" 
(London, 1788, vol. 1, p. 481). This work is a collection of letters 
and the reference to "Yankee Doodle" is to be found in a letter 
dated "Roxbury, April 26, 1775:" 

a Bong coxnpoeed in derision of the New Englanders, ecomfully called Yankeea, 

96 Ya nkee Doodle. 

An entry to the same effect in James Thacher's ''Military Journal, 
from 1775 to 1783/' would appear to antedate Grordon, but the 
Journal was not published until 1823, and then with amendments 
and additions from other sources. Indeed, his references to '' Yankee 
Doodle*' are copied almost verbatim from Gordon. Much more 
substantial is the account given in Farmer & Moore's Collections, 
May, 1824 (p. 157-160), in an unsigned article on "Yankee Doodle:" 

. . . The story miiB that the song entitled Yankee Doodle was composed by a 
British officer of the Revolution with a view to ridicule the Americans, who by 
the English bloods of that time, by way of derision, were styled Yankees ... it 
may possibly amuse some of your readers to see a copy of the song as it was printed 
thirty-five years since, and as it was troll'd in our Yankee circles of that day. 
What mutations it might have undergone previous to that time, or whether any 
additions or alterations have been made since, I know not; but I am, however, of 
the opinion, that it has had as many commentators and collators as the text of 
Shakespeare . . . 

This anonymous article, together with the text of "Yankee 
Doodle," was printed in May. In July, 1824 (vol. 3, pp. 217-218), 
the editors published a totally different account of the "Origin of 
Yankee Doodle : ' ' 

In looking over an old file of the Albany Statesman, edited by N. H. Garter, 
Esq., we met with the following interesting note, respecting the origin of the tune 
Yankee Doodle — the words of which were published in the Collections for May: 

**ltia known as a matter of history, that in the early part of 1755, great exertions 
were made by the British ministry, at the head of which was the illustrious Earl 
of Chatham, for the reduction of the French power in the provinces of the Canadas. 
To carry the object into effect, General Amherst, referred to in the letters of 
Jimius, was appointed to the command of the British army in North Western 
America; and the British colonies in America were called upon for assistance, 
who contributed with alacrity their several quotas of men, to effect the grand 
object of British enterprise. It is a fact still in the recollection of some of our 
oldest inhabitants, that the British army lay encamped, in the summer of 1755, 
on the eastern bank of the Hudson, a little south of the city of Albany, on the 
ground now belonging to John I. Van Rensselaer, Esq. To this day, vestiges of 
their encampment remain; and after a lapse of sixty years . . . the inquisitive 
traveller can observe the remains of the ashes ... It was this army, that, under 
the command of Abercrombie, was foiled, with a severe loss, in the attack on 
Ticonderoga ... In the early part of June, the eastern troops began to pour in, 
company after company, and such a motley assemblage of men never before 
thronged together on such an occasion, unless an example might be found in the 
ragged regiment of Sir John Falstaff, of right merry and b^^etious memory. It 
would, said my worthy ancestor, who relates to me the story, have relaxed the 
gravity of an anchorite, to have seen the descendants of the Piuitans, marching 
through the streets of our ancient city, to take their station on the left of the 
British army — some with long coats, some with short coats, and others with no 
coats at all, in colours as varied as the rainbow, some with their hair cropped like 
the army of Cromwell, and others with wigs whose curls flowed with grace around 
their shoulders. Their march, their accoutrements, and the whole arrangement 
of the troops, furnished matter of amusement to the wits of the British army. 
The musick played the airs of two centuries ago, and the tout ensemble, upon the 

Ya nkee Doodle. 


whole, exhibited a sight to the wondering Btrangers that they had been unaccua- 
tomed to in their own land. Among the club of wits that belonged to the British 
anny, there was a physician attached to the staff, by the name of Doctor Shack- 
buig, who combined with the science of the suigeon, the skill and talents of a 
musician. To please brother Jonathan, he composed a tune, and with much 
gravity recommended it to the officers, as one of the most celebrated airs of martial 
musick. The joke took to the no small amusement of the British corps. Brother 
Jonathan exclaimed it was nation fine, and in a few days nothing was heard in the 
provincial camp but the air of Yankee Doodle . . ." 

This account was widely circulated; but soon other traditions and 
theories began to demand recognition. One of the most perplexing 
to all those who did not have access to its very scarce source ap- 
peared in an unsigned article on the ''Origin of Yankee Doodle" 
in the Musical Reporter (Boston, 1841, May, pp. 207-209) : 

It appears that, previous to the time of Charles I, an air somewhat similar to 
the one in question, was common among the peasantry of England, of which 
the following is a copy 

I j. P ff r C l -Tr L I ll | T ^ ' H^ f f T If T y | 

j^JL^-gL-curr: r r f i -i^. c ^ ir t^ 

This air during the time of Cromwell was set to various tiitties in ridicule of 
the Protector. One of these began with the words ''The Roimdheads and the 
Cavaliers " . Another set of words was called ** Nankee Doodle ' ' , and has throiigh- 
out a striking resemblance to some of the popular stanzas, which were common 
in the American Colonies from the time of their origin to the Revolution, and in 
some sections of the cotmtry, even to the present day. The song, ''Lydia 
Locket'' or ''Lucy Locket" has been sung to the same tune from time imme- 
morial. This air seems to have been the foundation of Yankee Doodle. 

The rest of the article is a more or less inaccurate repetition of 
previous opinions. 

This account was widely circulated, but apparently in the mean- 
time other traditions had been clamoring for recognition. John W. 
Watson, in his "Annals of Philadelphia/' not in the first edition, 
1830, but in the second, 1844 (vol. 2, pp. 333-335), hesitated not to 
print this iotiquet of historical gossip and blunder: 

*' Yardxe Doodle *\ This tune so celebrated as a national air of the revolution, 
has an origin almost unknown to the mass of the people in the present day. An 
i^ed and respectable lady, bom in New England, told me she remembered it 
well, long before the revolution under an another name. It was then univer- 
saUy called ^'Lydia Fisher'' and was a favourite New England jig. It was then 

86480-09 7 

98 Ya nkee Doodle. 

the practice with it, as with Yankee Doodle now, to sing it with various impromptu 
verses — such as 

Lydia Locket lost her pocket 

Lydia Fisher found it; 
Not a bit of money in it, 

Only binding roimd it. 

The British, preceding the war, when disposed to ridicule the simplicity of 
Yankee manners and hilarity, were accustomed to sing airs of songs set to words, 
invented for the passing occasion, having for their object to satirize and sneer 
at the New Englanders. This, as I believe, they adled Yankee Doodle, by 
way of reproach, and as a slur upon their favourite *' Lydia Fisher*'. 

. . . Judge Martin, in his History of North Carolina, has lately given another 
reason for the origin of '* Yankee Doodle ", saying, it was first formed at Albany, 
in 1755, by a British officer, then there, indulging his pleasantry on the homely 
array of the motley Americans, assembling to join the expedition of (General 
Johnson and Crovemor Shirley. To ascertain the truth in the premises, both 
his and my accotmts were published in the gazettes, to elicit, if possible, 
further information, and the additional facts ascertained, seem to corroborate 
the foregoing idea. The tune and quaint words, says a writer in the Columbian 
Gazette, at Washington, were known as early as the time of Cromwell, and were 
applied to him then, in a song called '*Nankee Doodle ", as ascertained from the 
collection he had seen of a gentleman at Cheltenham in England, caUed '* Musical 
Antiquities of England ", to wit: 

Nankee Doodle came to town 

Upon a little pony, 
With a feather in his hat. 

Upon a macaroni, &c. 

The term feather, Ac, alluded to Cromwell's going into Oxford on a small 
horse, with his single plume fastened in a sort of knot caUed a ' * macaroni ' ' . The 
idea that such an early origin may have existed seems strengthened by the f&ct 
communicated by an i^ed gentleman of Massachusetts, who well remembered 
that, about the time the strife was engendering at Boston, they sometimes con- 
veyed muskets to the cotmtry concealed in their loads of manure, &c. Then 
came abroad verses, as if set forth from their military masters, saying: 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

For to buy a firelock: 
We will tar and feather him. 

And so we will John Hancock. 

The similarity of the first lines of the above two examples, and the term 
'^ feather,'' in the third line, seem to mark, in the latter, some knowledge of the 
former precedent. As, however, other writers have confirmed their early knowl- 
edge of ''Lydia Locket," such as 

Lucy Locket lost her pocket. 
In a rainy shower, &c. 

we seem led to the choice of reconciling them severally with each other. We 
conclude therefore, that the cavaliers, when they originally composed ** Nankee 
Doodle," may have set it to the jig tune of *' Lydia Fisher," to make it the m(H« 
offensive to the Puritans. Supposing it, therefore, remembered in succeeding 
times as a good hit on them, it was a matter of easy revival in New England, by 
royalists, against the people there, proverbially called by themselves, '' Oliver 
Cromwell's children," in allusion both to their austere religion, and their fre« 

Yankee Doodle. 99 

notions of government. In this view, it was even possible for the British officer 
at Albany, in 1755, as a man skilled in music, to have before heard of the old 
*'Nankee Doodle," and to have renewed it on that occasion. 

This was substantiaUy the same story as the one which Watson 
wrote to the Massachusetts Historical Society, February 13, 1832, as 
Mr. Matthews discovered, but this letter was not published in their 
proceedings until 1861 (vol. 6, pp. 209-212), and therefore can not 
have had much influence before 1861. 

Soon other compilers followed in Watson's footsteps, chief of 
whom the voluminous but unscrupulously inaccurate B. F. Lossing. 
In the first edition, 1851-52 (vol. l,p. 81) of his "Pictorial Fieldbook 
of the Revolution'' he claims tl^t Thatcher [I] on page 19 of his 
Military Journal wrote : 

A song, called Yankee Doodle, was written by a British seigeant at Boston, in 
1775, to ridicule the people there, when the American anny, under Washington, 
was encamped at Cambridge and Roxburg. 

It is characteristic of Lossing's methods that Thacher (comp., 
p. 95 of this report) never wrote these words, but that Lossing 
doctored the quotation to suit himself. It is equally characteristic 
of him that in the edition of 1859-60 the supposed quotation from 
Thacher is not canceled, though Lossing in the supplement of the 
second volume (p. 683) gives a totally different version. The latter 
is merely a confused conglomeration of previous accounts. About 
this time the colunms of Notes and Queries were opened to a flood of 
communications on the subject of YavJcee and YanJcee Doodle. 
One of the longest was that by T. Westcott, dated Philadelphia, June 5, 
1852, and printed 1852 in volume 6, page 67. It is merely an echo of 
previous accounts, principally of Watson, out of whose words he 
construes the claim that — 

The tune was known in New England before the Revolution as Lydia Fisher's 


Mr. Westcott, however, took occasion to add this important 

There is no song. The tune in the United States is a march; there are no 
words to it of a national character. The only words ever affixed to the air in this 
country is the following doggerel quatrain: 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

Upon a little pony, 
He stuck a feather m his hat 

And caUed it macaroni. 

100 Ya nkee Doodle. 

Duyckinck's Cyclopaedia of American Literature, 1866, volume 1, 
page 463; helped to complicate matters still further. There we read : 

The tune was not original with Shackbuig, as it has been traced back td the 
time of Charles I., in England. In the reign of his son we find it an accompani- 
ment to a little song on a &moiis lady of easy virtue of that date, which has been 
perpetuated as a nursery rhyme— 


Lucy Locket lost her pocket, 

Kitty Fisher found it, 
Nothing in it, nothing in it. 

But me binding round it. 

A little later we have the first appearance of that redoubtable personage, Yankee 
Doodle. He seems even at that early stage of his career to have shown his charac- 
teristic trait of making the most of him^^ — 

Yankee Doodle came to town. 

Upon a Kentish pony; 
He stuck a feather m his hat. 

And called him Macaroni. 

It is not impossible, however, that Yankee Doodle may be from Holland. A 
song in use among the laborers, who in the time of harvest migrate from Germany 
to the Low Countries, where they receive for their work as much buttermilk as 
they can drink and a tenth of the grain secured by their exertions, has this burden — 

Yanker didel, doodel down 

Didel, dudel lanter, 
Yanke viver, voover vown, 

Botermilk and Tanther. 

That is, buttermilk and a tenth. This song our informant has heard repeated 
by a native of that coimtry, who had often listened to it at harvest time in his 

The precise date when 

Father and I went down to camp- 
can not, we fear, be fixed with accuracy. But as the tune was sung at Bunker 
Hill, may be assumed to have been in 1775. 

Our copy of the words is from a broadside in a collection of ''Songs, Ballads, etc., 
purchased from a ballad printer and seller in Boston in 1813" made by Isaiah 
Thomas. The variations and additional stanzas in the notes are from a version 
given in Farmer & Moore, III, 157. 

A positive statement by F. B. N. S. appeared in the Historical 
Magazine (1857, vol. I, p. 92) : 

The verses commencing * Father and I went down to camp ' were written by 
a gentleman of Connecticut, a short time after Gen. Washington's last visit to 
New England; as will be shown in a book of songs and ballads, soon to be issued 
in New York. 

I have not been able to trace the proprietor of these initials nor 
the book he refers to in Roorbach's "Bibliotheca Americana/' or in 
the catalogue of the famous Harris collection of American poetry. 

A curious contribution to the "Yankee Doodle " literature found its 
place in the Historical Magazine, 1858 (vol. 2, pp. 214-215). One 
T. H. W. there reprinted an article clipped from the Press, Phila- 
delphia; September; 1857. This, in turn; had been sent the Press by 

Ya nkee Doodle. 101 

one Herman Leigh as the copy of the following letter, dated ''London, 

July 21, 1864, 29 St. Mark's Crescent, Regent's Park:" 

With respect to the air of Yankee Doodle, the earliest copy which Dr. Rimbault 
has found is in ''Walsh's collection of Dances for the year 1750 " where it is printed 
in 6/8 time, and called ''Fisher's Jig. " This is very interesting, because for more 
than half a century the air in question has been sung in our nurseries to the verse: 

Lucy Locket lost her pocket, 

Kitty Fisher foimd it, 
Not a bit of money in it. 

Only binding round it. 

According to a set of old engravings of London characters (probably by Holler) 
published in the reign of Giarles II, Kitty Fisher figures as a courtesan of that 
period. This seems to send the time back a long way. 

It has been said that the air of Yankee Doodle dates stiU further back, and that 

the verse 

Yankee Doodle came to town. 

Upon a little pony; 
He stuck a feather on his hat. 

And called it macaroni. 

relates (with the alteration of Nankee for Yankee) to Cromwell. The lines are 
said to allude to his going to Oxford with a single plume fastened in a knot, called 
a macaroni. But this is all conjecture; all we know for certain is, that the air in 
question was known in England the first half of the last century as ' ' Kitty Fisher's 
Jig. ** Dr. Rimbault has all the popular music of England from the earliest time, 
but finds no trace of the air of Yankee Doodle (in print) before the year 1750. 

This letter, which in the main merely reiterates a time-worn accoimt, 
traces for the first time the earUest appearance of the time '' Yankee 
Doodle'' in print. This reference has become one of the stumbling 
blocks in the controversy, and not in a manner as to bestow credit 
on the methods of the famous Doctor Rimbault. But who wrote 
the letter and sent it to the Historical Magazine? Doctor Rimbault 
is spoken of in the third person. This might lead to the impression 
that the letter merely gives to a third party the essence of a conver- 
sation between the writer and Doctor Rimbault. If this were the 
case, then Doctor Rimbault could not be held responsible for aU the 
mischief done by the letter. I fear that nothing can exonerate him, 
since the responsibility rests with Doctor Rimbault and no one else. 
Says he in a contribution to the Historical Magazine, 1861, page 123: 
"When sending my communication to the H. M. in July, 1858 (vol. 
2, p. 214)." This transaction throws a pecuUar Ught on the methods 
of Dr. Edward F. Rimbault. 

To the American, English, and Dutch the Historical Magazine now 
added a Biscay and Himgarian origin of the time, 1858, voliune 3, 
page 280 : 

The following letter, says the National Intelligencer ^ has been received by a 
gentleman of this city from our accomplished secretary of legation at Madrid: 

Madrid, June 3, 1858, 
Mt dear Sir: 

The time Yankee Doodle, from the first of my showing it here, has been 

acknowledged by persons acquainted with music to bear a strong resemblance to 

102 Yankee Doodle. 

the popular airs of Biscay; and yesterday a professor from the north recognized 
it as being much like the ancient sword dance played on solemn occasions by the 
people of San Sebastian. He says the tune varies in those provinces, and pro- 
poses in a couple of months to give me the changes as they are to be found in their 
different towns, that the matter may be judged of and fedrly understood. Our 
national air certainly has its origin in the music of the free Pyrenees; the first 
strains are identically those of the heroic Dama EsparUif as it was played to me, 
of brave old Biscay. 

Very truly youra, Buckingham SHrrH. 

On the same page the Historical Magazine helped to circulate this 

Kossuth, says the Boston Post, informed us that the Hungarians with him in 
this country first heard Yankee Doodle on the Mississippi River, when they 
immediately recognized it as one of the old national airs of their native land — 
one played in the dances of that country— and they began immediately to caper 
and dance as they used to in Hungary. 

Again it was the Historical Magazine, which in 1859 (vol. 3, pp. 
22-23) printed an article signed J. C. with the editorial remark that 
it had been '* Published in the Baltimore Clipper in 1841 by a person 
who well understood the subject:" 

In Buigh's Anecdotes of Music, vol. Ill, p. 405 [1814] after speaking of Dr. 
Ame and John Frederick Lampe, the author proceeds: 

Besides Lampe and Ame, there were at this time (1731) other candidates for 
musical fame of the same description. Among those were Dr. Christian Smith, 
who set two English operas for Lincoln's Inn Fields, Teraminta and Ulysses. . . . 

About the year 1797, after having become a tolerable proficient on the German . 
flute, I took it into my head to learn the bassoon, and a book of instructions from 
the late Mr. Joseph Garr, who had then recently opened a music store in this city 
[Baltimore] being the first regular establishment of the kind in the country. In 
this book there was an Air from Ulysses , which was the identical air now called 
Yankee DoodUj with the exception of a few notes, which time and ^cy may 
have added. 

Benson J. Lossing again took part in the controversy in an article 
on "The Origin of Yankee Doodle" for the Poughkeepsie Eagle, 
which was reprinted in Littell's Living Age (1861, vol. 70, pp. 382-384). 
This article merely copies the accoimts in "Notes and Queries/' 
Duyckinck's Cyclopaedia and other sources, without the slightest 
attempt at verification of the data except when he remarks of the 
"Botermilk and Tanther'' refrain in Duyckinck: 

This account is apocryphal, to say the least, for the words in the above verses 
are neither German, Dutch, nor any other known language on the face of the earth. 

To the theories of Yankee Doodle's origin thus far enumerated an 
anonymous writer in All the Year Roimd (1870, February, vol. 3, 
pp. 252-256), in an article '*On a few old songs," added this: 

It seems on the authority of the late M. T. Moncrieff, the author of ''Tom and 
Jerry" and coimtless other brces and plays, who made it his pleasure in the 
closing years of his life when aMcted with blindness, to investigate the history 




Ya nkee Doodle. 


and origin of old tunee, that the air was composed for the dram and fife about the 
middle of the eighteenth century by the Fife-Major of the Grenadier Guards. 
The air was not intended for a song, but for a march, and it was long after it had 
become familiar to the ears of the people in towns where British regiments were 
stationed, that words became associated with it. 

Doctor Rimbault reappeared on the plan with an article on 
*' American National Songs'' in "Leisure Hour" (1876, vol. 25 
pp. 90-92). This second account is not a repetition of what he had 
written in 1858. Indeed, without saying so, our author refutes 
most of his previous statements that had helped to make the origin 
of "Yankee Doodle" worse than a Chinese puzzle: 

There are no words to this time in the United States of a national character; 
the tune is a march. The earUest words known there are this doggerel quatrain — 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

Upon a little pony, 
He stuck a feather m his hat, 

And called it Macaroni. 

With the alteration of iVankee for Yankee, a string of similar verses is said to 
exist, which were supposed to allude to the coming of Oliver Cromwell (on a 
small horse) into Oxford, with his single plume, which he wore fastened in a sort 
of knot, which the adherents of the royal party called ''a macaroni " out of deri- 
sion. We must own to an entire want of faith in this story. The probability is 
that the tune is not much older than the time cf its introduction into America. 
We know that it was popular in England at that time, having been printed in 
one of Thomson's country dance books as ^' Kitty Fisher's Jig." 

Kitty Fisher, as everybody knows, was a celebrated character in the middle of 
the last century. She was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds more than once, and 
ultimately married Squire Norris of Bemmendon, in Kent. Lucy Lockit was 
' also a well-known character in the gay world. She was not so fortunate as her 
friend in making a good marriage nor in having her face handed down to pos- 
terity by the Court painter. 

The well-known rhymes to this tune, still sung by children — 

Lucy Lockit lost her ])ocket 

Kittv Fisher found it; 
Not a bit of money in it. 

Only binding round it. 

have some covert allusion, imderstood at the time, but now forgotten. 

We give a copy of Thomson's version of the tune, which is written in triple 
time. It was afterwards altered to common time, as now known: 


r r ■''^TPs^ ^ 




r ff-n- s #^ 

,^fj-^r • 1-^^"^"^^ 

i^-j, ''•'^ ^ 

104 Ya nkee Doodle. 

Strange to say, this account appears to have escaped the atten- 
tion of Admiral Greorge Henry Preble when he prepared the second 
edition (Boston, 1880) of his "History of the Flag of the United 
States." The admiral's article on "Yankee Doodle" (pp. 746-753, 
not in the first edition of 1872) does not pretend to be based on 
original research. It is merely a r6sum6 of the various accoimts 
thus far published. Yet it contains a few statements that call for 
consideration. He says: 

There is an earlier version of the words in England which I heard repeated 
by my father in my childhood dajrs, which runs: 

Nankee Doodle came to town 

Upon a KerUi$h I>ony, 
He stuck a feather in his hat, 

And called him Macaroni. 

As I heard it repeated, the second line was. Riding on a pony, or. Upon a 
little pony . . . 

In the English opera written about the middle of the eighteenth century, by 
Dr. Ame, is the comic song of ''Little Dickey, " who resents the arrogance and 
attempted tjrranny of some older boy. Thelast stanza runs thus: 

Did little Dickey ever trick ye? 
No, I'm alwajrs civil, etc. 

The air of the song is what we call ''Yankee Doodle, ** but it is not so called in 
the opera. . . . 

Innumerable have been the verses that have been adapted to it [Yankee 
Doodle], but it is believed the following were those best known and oftenest 
repeated by our Others during the war of 1776, and they are said to have been 
sung at the battle of Bunker's Hill in 1775. Words additional or similar were 
repeated to me by my father fifty years ago, as those familiar to him when a 
boy, during the revolutionary times. Perhaps their order of following is not 

Then follow 17 stanzas of " Yankee Doodle, or Father's return from 
Camp," in the main identical with the stanzas given in Farmer & 
Moore's Collections, but clearly accumulated from different versions. 

The last few quotations illustrate that by 1880 the matter of 
"Yankee Doodle" had fallen entirely into the hands of compilers, 
whose sole object it seems to have been, and still seems to be, to 
accept more or less credulously the numerous conflicting statements 
and to weave them indiscriminately into a smooth, entertaining 
tissue of facts and fancy. The first to reaUy analyze this ragout was 
Mr. William Barclay Squire, and he contributed to the first edition 
of Grove's Dictionary of Music (187&-1889) an article on "Yankee 
Doodle," which at that time was by far the best, and is still valu- 
able. Mr. Louis C. Elson, in his useful book on the " National Music 
of America," 1900, added in the main merely information received 
from Mr. Albert Matthews, of Boston. Nor does the amount of his 
original critical research rise above what may be expected from a 
book plainly designed and written in a style to satisfy the popular 

Yankee Doodle. 105 

demand for more or less verified facts on our national songs. This 
applies even more strongly to Mr. Kobb6's chatty '^ Famous Ameri- 
can Songs/' 1906, who also caught a glimpse of Mr. Matthews's un- 
published mine of data. From the same source come the following 
excerpts from Dr. (Jeorge H. Moore's paper ^' Notes on the origin 
and history of Yankee Doodle," read before the New York Histor- 
ical Society on December 1, 1885, and before the New England His- 
torical and Genealogical Society on December 7, 1887. As was 
stated in the introduction to my report on ''Yankee Doodle," Mr. 
Moore's paper was never printed, though it was mentioned in the 
Magazine of American History for January, 1886, in the Boston Post 
of December 8, 1887, and in the New England Historical and 
Genealogical Register for January, 1888. Mr. Albert Matthews, as 
he informed me imder date of January 3, 1909, rediscovered the 
manuscript and copied long extracts. ''Moore," says Mr. Matthews, 
"picked to pieces various theories about 'Yankee,' but accepted 
without criticism the Farmer & Moore version." Clearly Mr. 
Moore's unpublished paper can not have influenced subsequent 
writers very much, but it is essential that so much of it be printed 
here as was available through the courtesy of Mr. Albert Matthews: 

Dr. Shuckburgh unquestionably played an important part in the proceedings 
which resulted in making Yankee Doodle a national tune. He took the initia- 
tive step. He married to verse, (not immortal, for not a line of it can be proved 
to exist to-day) but to a song sufficiently popular to be remembered for many 
years, the old fashioned jig which had charmed his childhood and lingered in 
his memory to become the (vehicle) inspiration of his comic muse in later 
years . . . Dr. Shuckburgh undoubtedly scored (achieved) a success in his 
Yankee Doodle Song, hitting off the men and events of the time, in a style which 
readily admitted additions and alterations to fit occasions. That song was a 
satire more or less clever of the New Englander and his ways — written originally 
from the point of view of an Englishman long domesticated in New York, and 
reflecting the prejudices of the British tory and the Albany Dutchman — ^the 
intellectual apparatus of that extraordinary mythical creature, the genuine 
Knickerbocker. What that first Yankee Doodle Song was is mainly left to con- 
jecture . . . The only verses I have met with, which carry any appearance of 
having been a part of the original are the following: 

There is a man in our town, 

I pity his condition. 
He sold his oxen and nis sheep, 

To buy him a commission — 

When his commission he had got. 

He proved a nation coward 
He durst not go to Cape Breton 

For fear he*d be devoured. 

Another verse has lees authority: 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

Put on his strip 'd trowse's 
And vow'd he could n't see the town (place) 

There was so many houses. 

106 Yankee Doodle. 

So far the literature on the origin of "Yankee Doodle" moved in 
a few distinct channels, but in 1905 two theories were added that 
have very little in common with those previously advanced, com- 
bined, embellished. In the German magazine " Hessenland " (vol. 19, 
1905, pp. 20-23), Mr. Johann Lewalter published an article imder the 
title: "Der 'Yankee Doodle' ein Schwalmer Tanz?" In other 
words, the author endeavored to prove the probability of a Hessian 
origin, but his knowledge of the Uterature is veiy slight and he did 
not exercise discrimination in the use of his sources, so that most of 
his article is not worthy of consideration. As to his hypothetical 
question, it is sufficient to abstract from the article the following: 

In Langenscheidt's ''Land und Leute in Amerika" it is said that probably 
the air of the folksong "Yankee Doodle ** has its origin in a military march played 
by the Hessian soldiers in the War for Independence. 

The same origin is hinted at in the eighth volume (1880) of Spamer's ''lUus- 
triertes Konversationslexikon ". Mr. Lewalter then calls attention to the fact 
that the principal recruiting station in 1776 was Ziegenhain in the Schwalm, the 
fertile province of Hesse, to the further fact that ''Yankee Doodle" in form, 
musical spirit and ihythm bears a peculiar resemblance to the genuine dances 
and folksongs of the Schwalm region. Therefore, he concludes, it may be claimed 
that this song, played by the Hessian troops as a march, was imported by 
them to America in those dajrs. Finally, the fact should be noted that during a 
country fair in the Schwalm in the fall of 1904 "Yankee Doodle " was played as a 
Schwalm dance, and min and women danced to it as they would to one of their 
own traditional airs without discovery of the substitution. 

It will be seen later on how suddenly his Hessian theory collapses, 
if the historical test is applied. Much more complicated but much 
more fruitful in its application is a theory advanced by Mr. William 
H. Grattan Flood in the ''Dolphin" (Philadelphia, 1905, vol. 8, 
pp. 187-193) imder the title ''The Irish origin of the time of Yankee 
DoodleJ^ In this interesting article Mr. Grattan Flood, an enthusi- 
astic student and champion of Irish music, first sets out to imdermine 
principally the English origin. Then, in the footsteps of the eminent 
English folk-song collector, Mr. Frank Kidson, he refers to the 
"Earliest printed version" of "Yankee Doodle" in the first volume 
of James Aird's "Selection of Scotch, English, Irish, and Foreign 
Airs," printed at Glasgow in 1782. Without further preliminaries 
Mr. Grattan Flood then proceeds: 

The very structure of this tune is seen to be decidedly Irish and apart from 
any other argument intrinsic evidence should point to its Irish origin. . . . The 
above printed version by Aird in 1782, antedates the **Two to One " (1784) version 
by two years, and is much nearer the Irish original ['All the way to Galway'], 
with the strongly marked natural (the so called ''flat seventh") so charac- 
teristic of seventeenth century tunes in D major. However, the oldest form of 
the tune is also given here as it appears in a MS dated 1750, the authenticity of 
which is beyond question. The manuscript was written at different times 
between the years 1749 and 1750, and the owner's name is given, dated Decem- 
ber 1, 1750. 

Ya nkee Doodle. 107 

By way of illustrating the changes which a tune undergoes in seventy or eighty 
years, I think it is well to give the version as noted by Dr. Petrie in 1840, but, as 
will be seen, the changes are unimportant. 

Thus ''Yankee Doodle " can rightfully be claimed as a product of Ireland. . . . 

obmoal analysis of the theobies on the origin of '' yankee 


The chronological enumeration of the theories on the origin of 
''Yankee Doodle" will have disclosed their genealogy and concatena- 
tion sufficiently to now warrant neglect of such dates, references, and 
inferences that are mere variations and aberrations from the original 
source. The examination of this amazing labyrinth of conjectures 
will be based entirely on such analytical data only as possess some 
real substance. The other data will be treated as not existing. 
Much of the analytical evidence has become quite familiar to his- 
torians, but much will have the flavor of novelty. However, no 
distinction will here be made between old and new data, except when 

To sum up, since 1775, when the origin of ''Yankee Doodle" 
began to arouse interest, it has been claimed that — 

1. The song of "Yankee Doodle" was composed by a British 
officer of the Revolution. 

2. The air had its origin in a militaiy march "Schw&lmer Tanz," 
introduced into this coimtry by the Hessians during the war for 

3. The first part of the time is identical with the Dama Espatia 
and the time had its origin in the Pyrenees. 

4. The air is of Himgarian origin. 

5. The time was introduced by German harvest laborers into 

6. The air was composed by the fiie-major of the Grenadier Guards 
about 1750 as a march. 

7a. The time was foimded on an English time conunon among the 
peasantry of England previous to the time of Charles I. 

76. It was set during the time of Cromwell to various ditties in 
ridicule of the protector. One of these began with the words "The 
Roimdheads and the Cavaliers ;" another 

Nankee Doodle came to town 

Upon a Kentish pony [or Upon a little pony] 

He stuck a feather in his hat 
And called him Macaroni. 

were known as early as Cromwell's time, and indeed applied to him. 

108 Yankee Doodle. 

8. In the reign of Charles II the tune was sung to the words, per- 
petuated as a nursery rhyme: 

Lucy Locket lost her pocket 

Kitty Fifiher found it. 
Nothinff in it, nothing in it 

But me binding round it. 
[or, Not a bit of money in it 

Only binding round it] 

9. The aur is the same as of the New England jig "Lydia Fisher/' 
which was a favorite in New England long before the American. 

10. The earliest printed version of the air "Yankee Doodle" 
appears in 6/8 time in ''Walsh's collections of dances for the year 
1750" under the title of "Fisher's Jig." 

11. The air is identical with "Kitty Fisher's Jig" as printed in one 
of Thomson's countiy dance books in triple time. 

12. "Yankee Doodle" is identical with an ** Air from Ulysses/* 
opera by J. C. Smith. 

13. Tlie air "Did little Dickey ever trick ye" in an opera by Ame, 
composed about 1750, is the same as " Yankee Doodle." 

14. Doctor Shackburg, wit and surgeon in the British army 
encamped in 1755 near Albany, composed a tune and recommended 
it to the provincial officers as one of the most celebrated airs of martial 
music and that this joke on the motley assemblage of provincials took 

15. Doctor Shuckburgh wrote the Yankee Doodle verses to an old- 
fashioned jig. 

16. The air is of Irish origin and is identical with "All the way to 

These 16 theories have here been grouped not chronologically but 
amicably to a process of elimination. The majority of these theories, 
on close inspection, relate rather to the early use of than to the origin 
of the song. It will therefore facilitate the process of elimination 
if some consequential data on the use of the air in America until the 
time of our war for independence are here brought together. 

In the New York Journal, October 13, 1768, we read in the "Jour- 
nal of Transactions in Boston, Sept. 28, 1768:" 

Sept t9. The Fleet was brought to Anchor near Castle William, that Evening 
there was throwing of Sky Rockets, and those passing in Boats observed great 
Rejoicings and that the Yankey Doodle Song was the Capital Piece in their Band 
of Music." 

Writing of the events at Boston in 1769, the late Mr. Fiske in his 
work on the "American Revolution" (vol. 1, p. 65) says: 

On Sundays the soldiers would race horses on the Common, or play Yankee 
Doodle just outside the church-doors during the services. 

Yankee Doodle. 109 

Unfortunately Mr. Fiske did not refer to his authority for this ahnost 
incredible bit of information ; nor did Mr. Elson, when he wrote in 
his book on our national music (p. 145) : 

A little later [than 1769], when the campe were in the town of Boston, the British 
custom was to drum culprits out of camp to the tune of ''Yankee Doodle," a 
decidedly jovial Cantio in exUu. 

The next reference carries us to the commencement of hostilities. 
When the news of the affair at Lexington (Apr. 19, 1775) reached 
Lord Percy in Boston, says the Reverend Grordon in his History in a 
letter dated "Roxbury, April 26, 1776," he ordered out a reenforce- 
ment to support his troops. 

The brigade marched out playing, by way of contempt, Tbnku Doodle . . . 

James Thacher has almost literally the same in his Military Journal 
under date of April 21, 1775. A further contemporary reference is 
found in the "Travels (1st ed., vol. 2, p. 50) of Thomas Anburey, the 
British officer, who, under date of "Cambridge, in New England, Nov. 
27, 1777," wrote as follows: 

. . . the name [of Yankee] has been more prevalent since the conmiencement 
of hostilities. The soldiers at Boston used it as a term of reproach, but after the 
afbkir at Bunker's HiU, the Americans gloried in it. Yankee Doodle is now their 
paean, a feivorite of favorites, played in their army, esteemed as warlike as the 
Grenadier's March — ^it is the lover's spell, the nurse's lullaby. After our rapid 
successes, we held the Yankees in great contempt, but it was not a little mor- 
tifying to hear them play this tune, when their army marched down to our 

Anburey, of course, alludes to General Burgoyne's surrender at 
Saratoga, October 17, 1777. Again the nulitary bands of the Conti- 
nental army are said to have used ''Yankee Doodle" as their paean 
at the climax of the war when Lord Comwallis surrendered at York- 
town, October 19, 1781, but Robin, Knox, Thacher, Anburey, Chas- 
tellux, Gordon, and Johnston do not confirm this popular legend. I 
distinctly recall having seen it told by a French memoir writer of the 
time, but unfortunately am unable to retrace my source. 

On that occasion the British army marched out to the tune of ''The 
World turned upside down." So it was in more than one respect. 
Clearly, before and during the first stages of the war, "Yankee 
Doodle" was considered a capital piece by the British soldiers to ridi- 
cule the New Englanders, but the latter blunted the point of the joke, 
and indeed used it in rebuttal by appropriating the tune with all its 
associations for their patriotic field music. , This curious process 
f oimd an echo in one of our very first by-products of the war. John 
Trumbull's "M'Fingal" was first published at Philadelphia in 1775. 

jlO Yankee Doodle. 

In the fireti original edition the first ccmto ''The Town Meeting'' 

When Yankies skill'd in martial rule, 
First put the British troops to school; 
Instructed them in warlike trade, 
And new maneuvres of parade, 
The true war dance of i ankv-reels, 
And val'rous exercise of heels. 

«iid later on the lines occur: 

Did not our troops show much discerning, 
And skill vour various arts in learning? 
Outwent they not each native Noodle 
By far in playing Yanky-doodle; 
Wnich, as 'twas your New-England tune 
'Twas marvellous they took so soon? 

A New England tune or not, "Yankee Doodle" was common prop- 
erty in New England before the war for independence. Not alone 
this, it is easily proven that the time was well known south of New 
EIngland, too, at least nine years before the war. In my writings I 
have had repeated occasion to point to Andrew Barton's comic opera 
*'The Disappointment, or The force of credulity," New York, 1767, 
in this connection. This, the first American opera libretto, ummb- 
takably belongs to the class of ballad operas, that is, operas in which 
the airs were sung not to new music but to popular ballad times. 
Now, as Sabin, without attracting proper attention at the time, dis- 
covered as early as 1868, there appears in the 1767 edition, though not 
in the 1796 edition, of this coarse, yet witty, libretto, written in Phil- 
adelphia, but printed in New York: 


01 how joyful shaU I be, 

When I get the money,. 
I will brin^ it all to dee, 

01 my diddling honey. 

(Exit, singing the chorus, yankee doodUf etc.) 

It follows conclusively that the air of ''Yankee Doodle" was suffi- 
ciently popular in America in 1767, or more correctly, in Philadel- 
phia, to be used in a baUad opera. It further follows from the above 
that the words of the chorus refrain were so well known in 1767 that it 
was sufficient to print: '* Yankee doodle, etc." 

The fact that the air of ''Yankee Doodle" was popular in America 
in 1767 renders it impossible for a "British officer of the Revolution" 
to have "composed" the song. If at all true, this tradition can only 
mean that he either added some verses to a ciurent text or wrote an 
entirely new set of verses. 

The second theoiy on the list collapses for the same reason. The 
Hessian military can not have introduced the tune to our coimtry 
as it was popular in America long before their arrival here. On the 

Yankee Doodle. Ill 

contraiy, it becomes probable that the Hessian bands exported the 
air from America. However, not chronology alone, but logic forbade 
the acceptance of the Hessian origin, since according to Mr. Lewalter's 
own account '* Yankee Doodle" was merely grafted on the Schwalm 
peasants by way of experiment. They danced readily enough to the 
time, but Mr. Lewalter's story clearly shows that they did not con- 
sider it one of their traditional dance times. This plain observation 
should discoiu'age further efforts in this direction, which would pre- 
sumably be based on the fact that the British military service incluided 
Hessians long before 1775, indeed before 1767. 

Similar objections must be raised agaiost the theories of the Biscay 
and Hungarian origin. They were advanced almost one himdred 
years after ''Yankee Doodle" had become popular in America, time 
enough for any tune to find its way into any coimtry and to be so 
assimilated that its foreign origin is entirely forgotten. That Him- 
garians danced to it fifty years ago proves absolutely nothing except 
that ''Yankee Doodle" with its rhythmic accents appealed to them. 
Kossuth and his friends, experts in revolutions but not in musical 
history, recognized in "Yankee Doodle" one of the old national airs 
of Hungary ; this also proves nothing except that they knew the air. 
It is the same with the Biscay origin advanced by 'Mr. Buckingham 
Smith in 1858. Had he contented himself with recording the use of 
the tune in Biscay, one may be puzzled by the coincidence that two 
Turanian nations were willing to naturalize "Yankee Doodle." But 
Mr. Smith goes further, and he claims that "the first strains are 
identically those of the heroic Dama Esparta [ !] as it was played to me 
of brave old Biscay." Are they? I quote without comment the first 
bars of this ^'Ezpaia Dantza^' (sword-dance), as published by Charles 
Bordes in "Archives de la Tradition Basque," under title of "Dix 
danses . . . du Pays Basque Espagnol," 1908: 

hJTT^ .rj I ^M^-ii;-^i.j--^ «*^ 

As a fifth theory we have that promulgated by Duyckinck's Cyclo- 
paedia in 1855: 

It is not impoasible . . . that Yankee Doodle may be from Holland. A song 
in use among the laborers, who in time of harvest migrate from Germany to the 
Low Coimtries . . . has this burden — 

Yanker didel, doodel down 

Didely dudel lanter, 
Yanke viver, voover vown, 

Botermilk and Tanther. 

The Duyckincks received their information from a person who in 
turn relied on the memory of a Dutchman who **had listened to it at 
harvest time in his youth." This circuitous route may explain why 

112 Ya nkee Doodle. 

the chorus refrain, as quoted above, belongs to no known language. 
In itself the fact that the words are neither German, Dutch, or Eng- 
lish proves nothing and should not have been advanced so hastily by 
Lossing, Elson, and others, since such nonsense rhymes are common 
to all people. Here are a few examples taken at random from books 
in the English language. O'Keefe has this nonsense in one of his 


Dithenim, doodle adgety 

Nagity, tragedy rum. 
GkxMtneniin loodle nidgety 

Nidgety, nagety mum. 

In the libretto to the 'Tastle of Andalusia" occurs this: 

A master I have, and I am his man, 

CkdlopinK dreary dim 
And he wiu get married, as fast as he can 

With my haily, gaily, ^ambraily, 

Giggling, nigffling, galopmg. 

Iraggletaif, dreary dun. 

Finally, in the American songster '"The Blackbird," New York, 
1820, I noticed the refrain on page 39 : 

With my titol teedle tum 

Likewise f ol iol feedle fum 
Not forgetting diderum hi. 

And also teedle tweedle dum. 

Sense there is not in these samples of nonsense rhymes, yet who 
would deny that they are based on the English language? Conse- 
quently, the ''Yanker didel, doodel" lines with the one word Boter- 
milk (buttermilk) as an anchor of sense may either have been 
intended as a Dutch nonsense rhyme, or they are the unintelligible 
Dutch corruption of a Low German (Plattdeutsch) chorus refrain, 
or they are merely the result of travel of the original English "Yan- 
kee Doodle" refrain corrupted more and more, as it passed from 
America into the German lowlands, thence to Holland, and from 
there back to America. I am inclined to think that this is the 
most plausible explanation, rather than to simply discredit, as has 
been done, the narrative in Duyckinck's Encyclopaedia, and to accuse 
the editors of having invented the silly lines out of the whole cloth. 
After all, the substance of their statement is merely that during 
the first half of the nineteenth century harvest laborers from the 
German lowlands are known to have sung the air of "Yankee 
Doodle" in Holland. This impUes early use, not origin, and even 
if it implied the latter, not the Dutch but the "Plattdeutsche" 
would be responsible for the melody. 

We tum to Mr. Elson's book on the National Music of America 
and there find these interesting lines: 

Just as this volume is going to press [1900] the author is enabled, through 
the kindness of M. Jides Koopman, traveling in Holland, to trace this theory of 

Ya nkee Doodle. 113 

Dutch origin more definitely. The fint period of the melody \b quite familiar 
to Dutch musicians, and has been used in Holland from time immemorial as a 
children^ B sang; the second period is not known in Holland. 

Again, this implies at the best merely early use and by no means 
a Dutch origin. If '* Yankee Doodle" were a traditional Dutch 
air; it certainly would not have escaped the scrutinizing eye of the 
best authorities on Dutch folk songs, such as Van Duyse and D. F. 
Scheurleer. The stoiy of a Dutch origin may be dropped, since 
Mr. D. F. Scheurleer, in a letter to me under date of October 7, 
1908, remarks: 

Was die Melodie betrifft, muss ich gestehen in den Niederlanden hein Proto- 
type zu kennen. Dieses war auch der Fall bei von mir befragten SachverstSn- 

Das von Ihnen citierte qtuui hollftndische Emte-Lied ist mir v511ig neu und 
ich wQsste daran keinen Sinn zu geben . . . 

Ich habe beim Yankee doodle 6fters gedacht an hier im 18ten Jahrhundert 
sdhr bekannte Savoyarden-Lieder, gesungen von Savoyarden-Knaben, die mit 
Drehleier und Meerschweinchen herumzogen. Diese Leierkastenlieder waren 
sehr geeignet um von Matrosen und Emigranten weiter befGrdert zu werden . . . 

To avoid all possible confusion, it may be added that the air of 
the Dutch song 'Tauwel Jonas" (Paul Jones) is not identical with 
''Yankee Doodle." 

Somewhat more perplexing than the theory of Dutch origin is the 
one attributing ''Yankee Doodle" to the fife-major of the Grenadier 
Guards about 1750; who is said to have composed the melody as a 
march for drum and fife. This statement rests on the authority of 
Mr. T. Moncrieflf, but unfortunately no clue to his source is given. 
It is significant, however, that according to this theory words became 
associated with the air long after it had become familiar to the ears 
of the people in towns where British regiments were stationed. The 
weak point of this theory is its vagueness. The strong point that the 
air is attributed without circumlocution to a tangible author. "Yan- 
kee Doodle" must have had an origin. If we should be forced to 
admit that all other theories are inherently weak, then the fife-major 
of the Grenadier Guards would loom up as a very formidable candi- 
date for the authorship of "Yankee Doodle." Not, of course, of a 
march by this title, but of a quick march, with some other or with- 
out title, which found its way shortly after 1750 to America, there 
became popular, was wedded to words dealing with the New Eng- 
land Yankees, and permanently retained the name of "Yankee 
Doodle." That the air was imported by the Grenadier Guards 
themselves is impossible, because Sir F. W. Hamilton's "History 
of the First or Grenadier Guards" proves that a detachment of the 
regiment, including seven drummers and two fifers, was not sent to 

85480—09 8 

114 Yankee Doodle. 

America until 1776. The whole fife-major theory, however, is con- 
siderably weakened by reference to these words in a letter written 
on December 22, 1908, to the Librarian of Congress by Major Mont- 
gomerie of the Grenadier Guards: 

. . . We cannot discover that the office of Fife-Major ever existed in this R^- 
ment. We have had Drum-Majors since 1672, but their names we do not know. 

The air of '^ Yankee Doodle'' seems to have been foimded, said our 
anonymous in the Musical Reporter, Boston, 1841, on an air some- 
what similar which was common among the peasantry of England 
previous to the time of Charles I, 1600 (1625)-1649. On page 97 of 
this report the air in question is copied and it requires a very immusical 
ear to detect beyond the riiythm and general character any telling 
similarity. Consequently, said air may have been conunon among the 
English peasantry of those days, but this fact would shed no light 
whatever on the origin of ''Yankee Doodle," as the two airs are not 
related. Furthermore, if this air cited by our anonymous is the one 
that was set during Cromwell's time to various ditties, such as ''The 
Roundheads and the Cavaliers," or "Nankee Doodle," then all pro- 
tracted and painstaking controversy on this subject was unnecessary, 
since "Yankee Doodle" is not concerned. Indeed, the controversy 
could easily have been avoided ere this had the conunentators found 
their way to a copy of the rather scarce Musical Reporter. The air 
there quoted and reprinted on page 97 of this report is but a version 
of "Nancy Dawson," and as such an eminent authority on folk songs 
as Mr. Frank Kidson expressed himself (Dec. 22, 1908), he "should 
very much be surprised to have proof of its existence before 1760 or 
thereabouts." As to the ditties b^inning "The Roundheads and the 
Cavaliers" and "Nankee Doodle came to town," Rev. T. Woodfall 
Ebsworth, the eminent authority on English ballads, is quoted in the 
first edition of "Grove's Dictionary of Music" to this effect: 

I believe that I have seen and weighed, more or leas every such ballad still 
remaining in print, and most of those in M.S. that search has detected: and I €^an 
declare unhesitatingly that I never came across any indication of such an anti- 
Ciomwdlian original as the apocryphal "Nankee Doodle came to town." I 
believe that none such is extant or ever appeared. . . Th»« is no contemporary 
(f . e. 1640-1660 or, say 164S-1699) ballad specially entitled "The Roundheads and 
the Cavaliers." 

The ante-Cromwellian origin of * * Yankee Doodle ' ' and its anti-Crom- 
wellian use with all the embellishments that imaginative minds have 
added during the last seventy years may definitely be laid to rest. 
However, since the (slightly varying) lines — 

[Nankee] Yankee Doodle came to town 

Upon a Kentish pony. 

He stuck a feather in his hat 

And called him Macaroni 

Yankee Doodle. 115 

have actually been sung in America for generations to the tune of 
''Yankee Doodle," it will become necessaiy later on to approximately 
fix the date of these lines, and that is, to anticipate the third or even 
fourth quarter of the eighteenth century. Thus, Cromwell and 
''Yankee Doodle" are separated by at least a century. 

Theories eighth to eleventh all have this in common, that they take 
as starting point the rhyme: 

Lucy Locket loet her pocket 
Kitty Fisher found it 
Not a bit of money in it 
[or, Nothing in it, notnin^ in it] 
Only binding round it. 

For "Lucy Locket" Lydia Locket is sometimes substituted; for 
*' Kitty Fisher," Lydia Fisher, and other slight verbal differences occur 
in the nimierous citations of these lines. 

With the exception of the theory of ante-Cromwellian origin, they 
have been chiefly responsible for the mass of confusion surrounding 
"Yankee Doodle," particularly after Doctor Rimbault threw the 
weight of his authority into the controversy. 

From the perusal of the literature on the subject as gathered for 
this report, it appears conclusively that the lines were used as a nurseiy 
rhyme during the first half of the nineteenth century both in England 
and America, and were then always sung to the same air as "Yankee 
Doodle." Lideed, "two female relations" informed one G. A. Q., for 
Notes and Queries, 1865 (vol. 8, p. 155), that the lines were "ciurent 
some fifty years ago in the girls' schools" of the Isle of Wight and of 
Hampshire — that is, about 1810. 

For the use of the lines during the eighteenth century we have, to 
my knowledge, the contemporary statement only of an aged and re- 
spectable lady bom in New England, who remembered having heard 
the rhyme simg to the same time long before the Revolution as a favor- 
ite jig, called "Lydia Fisher." (See on p. 98, Watson's account, 
1844.) On the other hand, the anonymous author in the Musical 
Reporter, Boston 1841, gives 

c p t^ 1^ c p t: h ^ 

that is, "Nancy Dawson" as the air to which the song "Lydia 
Locket or Lucy Locket has been simg . . . from time immemorial." 
If we turn to page 98 and attempt to sing the rhyme to this melody, 
we find that this is easily done, even in the fourth bar, if the two 
words "foimd it" each get two of the four notes. Except for this 
fourth bar the traditional "Yankee Doodle" is not simg more read- 
ily. Here then would seem to be a conflict between the state- 
ment of an old lady relying on her memory and actual quotation of 

116 Yankee Doodle. 

a melody by an equally anonymous writer who may have had an 
equally good memory. This difference of opinion is not vital, since 
often in folk music the same words are grafted on different melodies 
imtil the fittest survives. At any rate, we have no reason to doubt 
the possibility that ''Lucy Locket" was sung also to the air of 
''Yankee Doodle" in New Ehigland previous to the American revolu- 

For further data we must rely on internal evidence. "Lucy 
Locket," of course, points to "Lucy Lockit," one of the main charac- 
ters in the famous "Beggar's Opera," first performed in 1728 and 
popular during the entire centuiy . Possibly, ' 'Lucy Locket ' ' found her 
way into the rhyme only for reasons of sound. However, 1730 would 
appear to be about the earliest possible date for the rhyme unless Gay 
adopted "Lucy Locket" as an effective stage name from the popular 
rhyme. The presence of a Kitty Fisher in the rhyme would forbid 
this conjecture if we recognize in her with Rimbault the famous lady 
of easy virtue called "Kitty Fischer." What Rimbault wrote about 
her in the Historical Magazine (1858) is mostly nonsense, as he him- 
self tacitly admitted by printing a totally different reference to this 
lady in the Leisure Hour (1876) : 

Kitty Fisher, as everybody knows, was a celebrated character in the middle of 
the last century. She was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds more than once, and 
ultimately married Squire Norris of Benmiendon [recU Benenden] in Kent. 

This agrees with what one finds about her in ''Notes and Queries" 
and Stephen's Dictionary of National Biography. The roisters of 
Benenden give the date of her burial as March 23, 1767. It is not 
recorded when Catherine Marie Fischer, probably of German origin, 
was bom, nor are such biographical details of much accoimt for oiir 
argument. It stands to reason that Eicty Fischer was not made the 
heroine of such verses before she had become a really public character. 
Since she appears to have reached the height of her reputation as pro- 
fessional beauty about 1759, shortly before she became the second 
and exemplary wife of Mr. Norris, it would seem safe to conjecture tliat 
the ''Lucy Locket" and ''Kitty Fisher" rhyme did not originate 
many years before 1759. Therefore, the attempt to trace this rhyme, 
which only gradually can have become a Tvursery-rhjine, by way of 
this Kitty Fischer to the times of Charles 11, 1630 (1660)-1685, was 
conspicuously absurd. On the other hand, nothing would prevent 
us from assuming that the rhyme, with whatever melody, may have 
found its way to America before our war for independence, that is, 
before 1775. In our coimtry Kitty Fisher appears to have become 
Lydia Fisher. This modification may have been due to the natixral 
desire to avoid the harsh verbal sound of ''pocket — ^Kitty", and since 
our people probably took no special interest in the famous Kitt^ 

Yankee Doodle. 117 

Fischer's affairs, they substituted Lydia perhaps for some further 
local reason. But, after all, is it necessary to recognize in the Kitty 
Fisher of the rhyme the famous Kitty Fischer or any other particular 
Kitty Fisher t The name surely neither was nor is so imconmion as to 
compel this association. Indeed Mr. Matthews, following the same line 
of argument, has found two ladies of this name, contemporaiy with the 
beautiful courtesan. The one is ' ' an eminently respectable young lady 
who is mentioned several times in letters written in 1743-1747 by Lieut. 
Colonel Charles Russell, of the British Army," the other a * ^Miss Kitty 
Fisher, a very yoimg lady at boarding school at Leicester mentioned in 
the Oxford Magazine, April, 1771 ." It is entirely possible that ''Kitty 
Fisher ' ' was incorporated in the rhyme without the slightest intention of 
personal allusion, just because the name ''Kitty Fisher" was conmion 
and popular, and because it sounds rather well in the rhyme and fits 
the time. Should this have been the case, then the absence of real 
evidence to the effect that the lines were known long before 1800 
would fortify the impression that they originated about 1800, and 
this again would explain nicely why they were sung to (the then 
already very popular) time of "Yankee Doodle." 

The "Lucy Locket" rhyme was clearly intended for singing, and 
it is the rule with such folk songs that the melody preceded the 
text. In other words, the earlier the rhyme is dated the older 
becomes the melody of "Yankee Doodle," unless the rhyme was 
sung originally to another tune, which was exchanged later on for 
the rhythmicaUy similar and catchier "Yankee Doodle." Naturally 
the idea suggested itself to trace this tune in written or printed 
form as far back as possible. Here, again. Doctor Rimbault became 
responsible for much of the confusion surrounding our air. In the 
Historical Magazine (1858, vol. 2, p. 214), we read that Rimbault 
found the earliest copy of the tune in "Walsh's collection of dances 
for the year 1750 where it is printed in 6/8 time, and called FisJier^s 
Jig/' but in his article in Leisure Hour, 1876, Rimbault turns his 
back on his previous discoveries and says: 

The probability is that the tune is not much older than the time of its intro- 
duction into America. We know that it was popular in England at that time, 
having been printed in one of Thompson's coimtry dance books as Kitty Fisher* 8 

A few lines below Doctor Rimbault gives "a copy of Thompson's 
version of the tune which is written in triple time. It was after- 
wards altered to conmion time, as now known." 

The contradictions between these statements are so flagrant that 
suspicions of Doctor Rimbault's methods not only, but of his veracity, 
are aroused. It is a disagreeable duty to attack a well-known and 
defimct scholar, yet Doctor Rimbault stands convicted by his own 

118 Ya nkee Doodle. 

testimony. It may be after all that he saw our tune aomeuthertt 
but first he discoTered a "Fisher's jig" in 6 — 8 time in Walsh, and 
then, foi^etting all about this discovery, he finds it printed in triple 
time as "Kitty Fisher's Jig" in Hiompeon. Only if both statements 
are true, does Kimbault stand acquitted. Now, Mr. William Barclay 
Squire in the first edition of Grove's Dictionary, has already cast 
suspicions on Rimbault's statement of 185S by the remark that 
"no copy of 'Fisher's Jig' has turned up," and he was repeatedly 
supported in this statement by Mr. Frank Kidson. 

To make absolutely sure whether or do these two eminent authori- 
ties on English folk song had found in the meanwhile evidence to 
support Rimbault, carefully prepared letters of inquiry were addressed 
to them which they had the kindness to answer as follows: 

Mr. Squire, August 5, ld08: 

We have [at the Britiah MuaeumJ a amall collection of Country Dances pub- 
lished by Waith in 1750, but no "Yankee Doodle" ie in this. 

Mr. Kidson, August 12, 1908: 

Dr. Rimbault'B statemeuta have never been proved. I have seen two copies 
of Waleh'B Dances tor 1750 and have seen those for 1742, 1745, 1748, 1765, and in 
fact have MS. copies of them all in full. I have many (very many) 18th century 
dance collections and four or five Caledonian Country Dances (Walsh) but 
nothing like Yankee Doodle in any of them. Kitty Fisher's Jig is also non si(. 

and previously Mr. Eidson had informed Mr. Albert Matthews that 
he had also examined Thompson's Dances from 1751 and 1765 in 
Tain. Finally, Mr. Squire, September 21, 1908: 

"Kitty Fisher's Jig" has never turned up ... he [Hr. Kidson] and I have 
both looked thro' endless dance books in vain. 

Equally void of substance appears to be the claim presented by 
one J. C. in the Baltimore Clipper, 1841, that an "Air from Ulysses" 
which he found "about the year 1797" in a book of instructions 
"for the bassoon" was the identical air now called YajJcee Doodle, 
with the exception of a few notes." 

A careful reader of these quotations from J. C.'s narrative (see p. 
102) can not fail to notice that the air evidently was not really identical, 
that the author is contributing data to the controversy from memoiy 
after a lapse of forty years, that he did not have the book of instruc- 
tions before him when he wrote his article. No methodically trained 
historian would accept such circumstantial evidence without serious 
scruples. A curious circumstance about J. C.'s statement is that he 
begins with a quotation from Burgh's Anecdotes, which has nothing 
to do with "Yankee Doodle," but merely acquaints the reader with 
the fact that John Christian Smith [rede John Christopher Smith, 
1712-1795] composed an opera "Ulysses." "Why this quotation! 
Apparently because J. C. desired to trace the composer of an Air from 

Yankee Doodle. 119 

Ulysses, whom he had either forgotten or who was not mentioned in 
his book of instructions. He remembered the word Ulysses in con- 
nection with a tune ahnost identical with ''Yankee Doodle/' and with 
the help of Burgh's Anecdotes he conjectured a bridge between the 
word Ulysses Bud the opersk I7Zi/«9e« by John Christopher Smith, which 
was performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1733. It would seem an easy 
matter to verify J. C's conjecture by a reference to Smith's score, but 
unfortimately no copy of his opera has ever been discovered, nor is it 
certain that the music was ever published. However, if a time like 
Yankee Doodle was in Smith's opera ' ' Ulysses," then this jiglike tune, 
must of necessity fit words in the libretto of this mythological opera. 
Though such a combination appeared to be very improbable, Mr. 
William Barclay Squire of the British Museum was approached in the 
matter, and he wrote me imder date of September 21, 1908: 

Sam^ Humphreys' UlysBes (libretto) is here, but contains nothing to which one 
can imagine Y. D. to have been sung. Here are some specimens: 

Balmy Slumbers, soft Repose, 

Gently cull my lovely Fair; 
Send your solace to her Woes, 

Ease her of said Despair, etc. etc. 

Now I die with joy, to be 

Chaste, and dutiful to tJiee; 

And reeHpx my youthful Bloom, 

All untainted to the Tomb, etc. etc. 

Not only this, Mr. Squire stated that he knows of no such book of 
instructions for the bassoon as alluded to by J. C. 

Like so many other theories of the origin of ** Yankee Doodle" the 
conjecture of a connection between the time and John Christopher 
Smith's opera ''Ulysses" may safely be dropped. 

Ere this a flaw in the J. C. statement had been suspected, and Mr. 
William H. Grattan Flood in his article quoted on page 106, suggested 
that the error of asserting an air from Ulysses as the source of the tune 
might have arisen from a confusion of the designation Ulysses with a 
song of that name in Dibdin's Musical Tour, 1788, the full title of which 
is ' ' The Return of Ulysses to Ithaca." As the analysis of J. C's state- 
ments leaves it open to doubt from where the ''Yankee Doodle" 
melody in his book of instructions for the bassoon was taken, Mr. 
Grattan Flood's suggestion is as acceptable as any. The song in ques- 
tion accompanies "Letter LXXXIV " in Dibdin's Musical Tour, and 
is preceded on page 341 by this bit of explanatory monologue: 

''Why/' said the Poet, ''you may remember Mr. O'Shokneey, the other night, 
bkvoured us with the whole siege of Troy to an Irish tune — for my part, I felt my 
consequence as a poet a little touched at it — and so, not to be outdone, I have 
brought Ulysses back to Ithaca safely through all his perils, to the tune of — Yankee 
Doodle, . . ." 


Ya nkee Doodle. 

Omitting the prelude and postlude and the accompaniment, the first 
of Dibdin's eight burlesque stanzas reads: 



I sing U - lys - 868 and those chiefs who out of near a mil - lion So 




lack - 1 - ly this ba • con sav'd be - fore the walls of 



J- J / K i ;-j-^.r-J- 

J-— ^ I f^^=^ 

Tan - kee doo - die, doo - die doo, black ne - gro he get fum - bo and 

^ J' J' J ji n »? ,n \ j=EE^=j^=i 


— ■ — —^^—^-^'^^—^—^^—^^^^^^--^^^^^■^^— — ■ I 

when you come to our town we'll make you drink with bum • bo. 
A facsimile of the irhole song appears in the Appendix as PI. zlv-xr. 

The burlesque song, by the way, was first used by Dibdin in this 
form for his puppet play ''Reasonable Animals,'' 1780. 

The statement in Admiral Preble's ''History of the Flag," that the 
melody of "Yankee Doodle" occurs in an opera composed by Thomas 
Augustine Ame about 1750 to the words "Did little Dickey ever trick 
ye/' was long ago discredited by Mr. William Barclay Squire in Grove's 
Dictionary. Mr. Squire called attention to the appearance of the air 
imder its own title in the comic opera "Two to One," of which the 
libretto was written by George Colman the younger, the music 
selected, arranged, and composed by Dr. Samuel Arnold and the 
score published by Harrison & Co. in 1784. The song in question was 
sung by Mr. Edwin in the character of Dickey Ditto. Plate XVI 
shows the first stanza with the melody in facsimile. 

At the time Mr. Squire held that this probably was the earliest 
appearance of Yankee Doodle in print, but Mr. Frank Kidson in his 
fine collection of "Old English Country Dances," 1890, pointed to an 
earlier version to be found in the first volume of James Aird's "A 
Selection of Scotch, English, Irish, and Foreign Airs," Glasgow. Since 
Mr. Elidson could not find "any air in it, which gives a later date than 
1775 or 1776," he fixed (on p. 13) the date of publication at about that 
period, but the late Mr. Glen in his scholarly "Early Scottish Melodies" 
fixed the date of Aird's first volume as 1782, and Mr. Kidson, in a 
letter to me (Aug. 12, 1908), accepted this date as "all right." Aird's 
"Yankee Doodle" is reproduced in facsimile on Plate XVII of the 
appendix. No earlier appearance in print than this of 1782 has been 
discovered, and the fact that the same volume contains at least one 
negro jig and several "Virginian airs" would seem to prove a direct 

Yankee Doodle. 121 

American influence, probably called forth by the war. Presumably 
''Yankee Doodle" came to Aird's notice by way of America. 

If, then, the ascertained earliest appearances in print of Yankee 
Doodle in Europe have been traced to (1) James Aird's Selection )< 
. . . ,first volume, Glasgow, 1782; (2) Samuel Arnold's Opera "Two 
to One," London, 1874; (3) Charles Dibdin's'' Musical Tour," Sheffield, 
1788, the question suggests itself. When and where was the tune first 
printed in America t In his valuable ''Songs and Ballads of the 
American Revolution," 1855, Mr. Moore published a ballad of the 
title "The Recess." This satire, he says, first appeared at London 
written by "a true friend of the King and the Colonies." "It was y 
reproduc€Kl in America, in 1779, on a music sheet adapted to the tune 
of Yankee DoodleJ' 

Mr. Moore does not mention publisher or place of publication of 
this music sheet, nor does he point to any library in which it may be 
found. He may be correct in his statement. In that case I failed to 
locate the piece when compiling material for my "Bibliography of 
Early Secular American Music." Until actual proof of the piece's 
existence is given me, I prefer to suspect that "The Recess" was 
printed without music as a broadside, perhaps with the indication 
"To the tune of Yankee Doodle." The first stanza as given by Mr. 
Moore reads: 

And now our Senators are gone 
To take their leave of London 
To mourn how little they have done 
How much they have left undone I 

Of secular music very little was published in America before 1790, 
and according to my bibliography "Yankee Doodle" did not appear ^ 
in print in America until Benjamin Carr's "Federal Overture," a 
medley of patriotic songs, including "Yankee Doddle," and composed 
in 1794, was published "adapted for the pianoforte" by B. Carr, New 
York, in January, 1795. No copy of this appears to be extant, only 
a ' 'medley duetto adapted for two German flutes " in the fifth number 
of Shaw and Carr's "Gentleman's amusement." Unfortunately the 
copy of the Library of Congress, the only one that has come to my 
notice lacks the very pages where one could expect to find "Yankee 
Doodle* in the form given it by B. Carr. Nor have I as yet found a 
copy of John Henry Schmidt's "Sonata for beginners," 1796, in which 
our air was "turned into a fashionable rondo," nor a copy of " Yankee 
Doodky an original American air, arranged with variations for the 
pianoforte," as printed by J. Carr, Baltimore, in 1796. Presiunably 
in June, 1798, "Yankee Doodle" was "Published by G. Willig, 
Market street No. 185, Philadelphia," together with "The President's 
March. A new Federal Song." ("Hail Columbia." For facsimile 
of both, see Pis. IX and X in Appendix.) A copy of this extremely 


Ya nkee Doodle . 

rare piece is preeerred in a misceUaneous volume of "Marches and 
Battlea" at the Ridgway branch of the Libraiy Company of Phila- 
delphia. The melody, sung to the words ' ' Columbiana all the present 
hour," has this form: 

This Tetsion was composed or rather mmoged by James Hewitt, 
since he advertised, probably between 1800 and 1802, the "New 
Yankee Doodle" beginning "Columbians all the present hour as 
Brothers should unite us," as "composed and published at his Musical 
Repositoiy No. 59, Maidenlane, New Toi^." A copy of this song is 
preserved at Harvard University. Some years later, Gottheb Graup- 
ner, one of Boston's most important musicians, "printed and sold" 
at his "Musical Academy No. 6, Franklin Street, Franklin Place," 
"General Washington's March " tt^therwith "Yankee Doodle" in a 
simple arrangement for the pianoforte. Mr. Elson's "History of 
American Music" contains a facsimile, and from this the following 
version of the melody is quoted : 




:atf^ l J-3..J l r ^ 

Different agun is an earher form of the tune in the "Compleat 
tutor for the fife," Philadelphia, George Willig [1805]. On page 28 
of this curiously American reprint of a rare English publication, we 
find among the interpolations "Yankee Doodle:" 

Yankee Doodle. 


Another early form appears on page 8 of Raynor Taylor's ''Martial 
music of Camp Dupont/' Philadelphia, O. E. Blake [ca. 1818]: 

i (fi''K r r r r i rT7ri^ ^ i" n^ r ir rrTTr^ rrr^ ^ 


Alexander Wheelock Thayer, the Beethoven biographer, commu- 
nicated to the first edition of Grove ''the following version as it was 
sung sixty years since, and as it has been handed down by tradition 
in his family from Revolutionary times:" 

1 ^ r r ,r r 1 ^ 

lif> r r r r If r r r M J "^ Mf r M l 

Chobub, Bsfbaik. 

ra^' f. J J I J r ^ i 

J I J J H 

Tan - kee doo - die, keep It up, Tan • kee doo - die dan - dy, 

ij"* r' p J J I J r *^ ^ I ^ r ^ 

r r I I 

Mind the ma - slo and the step, and with the girls be han - dy. 

These early versions of the melody will be sufficient to demonstrate 
that "Yankee Doodle/' whatever its original form might have been, 
passed through many hands before it became fixed in the popular 
mind in its present form. The semiofficial form now used in the 
United States is contained in John Philipp Sousa's "National Patri- 
otic and Typical Airs of all Lands," Philadelphia, 1890: 

hp^p p c c ip c c c iP p c r. If ^ / i c p c p I 

ijl g s c p|J-J J" ^\r r lU^-J-J^ 


^ ^■^J Jl; JJ IJ'.>'>N- JIJ' r r. J' l /t ^ c Ir ^ 

This process of elimination and substitution of notes, and even bars 
is characteristic of many folk songs, and the "Folk" imconsciously 
adopts the same attitude of mind as does a composer who polishes 
and changes his melodic ideas imtil he feels satisfied with the result. 
But this process also explains, how imperfect rendition and local usage 


Yankee Doodle. 

can produce such abortive and almost incredible versions as the one 
in James Hulbert's "Vaiietj of Marches" (1803, p. 8) and in lus 
"Complete Fifers' Museum" (Greenfield, Mass. [18-], p. 12): 

rjltn r ' p c J I 

Nji-r-f r r i ^^ 

' ii r f r Mr r c I 

or the one in Alvan Robinson's ''Massachusetts Collection of Martial 
Musick" (2d. ed., Exeter, 1820, p. 58): 

{■ p r n\^ r II I M JlJ J I lu 'H l ^ r I' 1^ 1 I \ ' \ r ^ m 

i ;i[.'frc,r i Lrcr i ; , i mi i m nrirri^, |_ji i ii 

In addition to these early versions in print a few in manuscript 
are extant. For instance, the facsimile on Plate XVIII shows the 
form of ''Yankey doodle" as it appears in "Whittier Perkins' Book 
1790" of ''A Collection of Dancing Times, Marches, & Song Times'' 
now in possession of Mrs. Axistin Holden, Boston, Mass. This is an 
exceedingly interesting collection of more than one hmidred times, 
and its importance is increased by the fact that it was written by 
a person with a very neat hand not only, but a musical hand. Parts 
of a Boston newspaper of 1788 have been used for the inside of the 
leather binding, but this, of course, though original, may have been 
added any time after 1788. The earliest possible date of compila- 
tion is 1778, since in that year Francis Hopkinson wrote his * 'Battle 
of the Kegs," which figures in the collection. It furthermore looks 
as if the collection was complete before Whittier Perkins claimed 
it as his property in 1790. We are perfectly safe in dating this 
version of "Yankee Doodle" as it appears on the first page of the 
unpaged collection as "about 1790:" 

py^^ Lr ^ ^ r I '^-^-^-J^ 

r j?f J . m m P f m ^ P _ \ m ' m ^ ^ 

w' r r r [ r [ r r"^^ ^ 


I r i rri^f^-pp^ 

Ya nkee Doodle. 



fir rJ 6f c r* i r fJ c f ir' eJr r r ri^^cJ*^ '" 

This last version is probably a few years earlier. It appears written 
in a collection of psalm and popular tunes attached to an incomplete 
copy of Thomas Walter's ''Groimds and rules of musick," Boston, 
edition of 1760, as preserved imder niunber of ''G. 38. 23" at the 
Boston Public Library. As a matter of fact, the manuscript music 
forms two collections in two different hands. The psalm times are 
paged 26-46 in continuation of the engraved psalm tunes, and on 
page 42 we read ''Wm. Cummingham, Esqr. 1765." These psalm 
times are followed by seventeen pages of such popular airs as ''The 
Hero," ''Lovely Nancy," "A trip to Halifax," "God save the King," 
"Prince Eugene's March," "Bellisle March," "Wild Irishman," 
"British Grenadiers," and "Yankee Doodle." The presence of so 
many marches and of a "Hessian Minuet" permits us to conjecture 
that the collection was written after 1765, either during the war or 
immediately after. It is therefore perhaps not unsafe to date this 
version of "Yankee Doodle" as "about 1780." It will be observed 
and the fact is noted here without an attempt to solve the puzzle, 
how strikingly these two early American manuscript versions differ 
from the early printed versions and how much more similarity exists 
between them and the printed New England versions of 1803 and 
1820. Indeed the dssumptian is not at aU far fetched thai Yankee 
DoodJ^ in its modem form is a composite tune, formed out of at least 
tvx> different tunes ojf different age. Finally a version may here be 
recorded which Mr. Frank Kidson found in a manuscript book in 
his possession, the first date in which is 1790 and the last 1792: 

if.'' -^iP 

"Yankee Doodle" has gradually become a national march, a 
national air. That its text is now more or less obsolete, is so evident 
as not to require proof. The only words current are with slight 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

Riding on a ponv, 
Stuck aleather in his hat 

And called it Biacaroni. 

126 Ya nkee Doodle. 

These or similar words Admiral Preble, 1816-1885 in his childhood 
heard repeatedly (see p. 104) from his father, Capt. Enoch Preble, 
1763-1842. As far as I can see, this is the only evidence we have 
that the words were known in America as early as about 1820. They 
may have originated much earlier. How much earlier, depends on 
the circumstancial evidence offered by the words '* Yankee Doodle" 
and ''Macaroni." The combination of ''Yankee" and "Doodle" 
was, so Andrew Barton's "The Disappointment" proves, fairly cur- 
rent in 1767, at least in Philadelphia. Since ho earlier reference to 
a time " TarJcee Doodle " has come to light, and since it is entirely . 
possible that the tune under this title had rushed into popularity in,^/ 
the very year of publication of "The Disappointment," no earlier 
date for the use of the words "Yankee Doodle" would be safe than 
"at least as early as 1767." After that, the use of these two words 
in combination became, as we know, fairly frequent, at any rate in 
America, Doodle retaining its old meaning and "Yankee" becoming y 
preferably a nickname for New Englanders. In England the combi- v/ 
nation "Yankee Doodle" probably was not used until about or 
after 1770. 

As Mr. William Barclay Squire informed me, the British Museum 
[G. 310. (163)1 preserves a single-sheet song, called "Yankee Doodle, 
or, the Negroes Farewell to America. The words and music by 
T. L." The sheet bears the initials C. & S., i. e., Charles and Samuel 
Thompson, who published music at London from 1764 to 1776 or 
1778. (The music bears no relation to our ** Yankee Doodle" time. 
This is mentioned here because somebody in the ecstasy of discovery 
may claim that T. L. wrote and composed our "Yankee Doodle.") 
The publishers may have printed this sheet song as early as 1764 or 
as late as 1778. Consequently, it does not help us positively to 
trace the earliest known use of the words "Yankee Doodle" in 

Attention had been drawn to this song in Notes and Queries as early 
as 1852, and by Doctor Rimbault in Notes and Queries December 1, 
1860, and in the Historical Magazine, 1861, where he stated that the 
British Museum gave the song the conjectural date of 1775. Rim- 
bault added the titles of two other "Yankee Doodle" songs printed 
in England and preserved at the British Museum, which are of inter- 
est in this connection: 

(1) D'Estaing eclipsed, or Yankee Doodle's defeat. ByT.Poynton. 

(2) "Yankee Doodle, or (as now christened by the saints of New 
England), the Lexington MarchJ^ 

Rimbault further stated that Poynton's song has its own melody, 
whereas the second song has the familiar "Yankee Doodle" music, a 
statement since verified by Mr. William Barclay Squire, Mr. Matthews, 
and others. Of the text of this particular "Yankee Doodle" song 
more will be said later on. Here it is sufficient to remark that Mr. 

Yankee Doodle. 127 

Albert Matthews discovered a copy of it in possession of Mr. John 
Ritchie, jr., of Boston. It bears the imprint of Thomas Skillem, 
London, and he is known, according to Mr. Frank Kidson's "British 
Music Publishers,'' to have printed music imder his own name at 17 
St. Martin's lane between 1777-78 and 1799. Therefore, this partic- 
ular publication by Skillem can not have contributed to the circula- 
tion of the words ''Yankee Doodle" in England before 1777. 

With reference to **D'Estaing eclipsed, or Yankee Doodle's defeat," 
this quotation from the Gentleman's Magazine, 1783, by Peterafidd 
in the Magazine of American History (1877, Vol. I, p. 452), will be of 
service : 

Your readers and the public must remember an object of compaseion who used 
to sing ballads, about .the streets and went by the vulgar appellation of Yankee 
Doodle, alluding to a song he sang about London, at the Commencement of the 
American War; his real name was Thomas Poynton. 

Apparently he was identical with the author and composer of 
''D'Estaing eclipsed." In that case, he most probably sang his own 
"Yankee Doodle" words and tune about the streets and not our 
''Yankee Doodle." However, since D'Estaing was ^'eclipsed" in 
1778 and 1779, T. Poynton can not have contributed to the circula- 
tion of the words ''Yankee Doodle" in England until after 1778. 

These data render it very improbable that lines containing the two 
words "Yankee Doodle" in this combination can have originated in 
England before 1764. This allows the widest possible margin (the 
beginning of C. and S. Thompson's activity as music publishers), 
whereas the probabilities are that the two words were not current 
in England until considerably after 1770. 

Turning to the word "Macaroni" in our doggerel quatrain — 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

Riding on a pony 
Stuck a feather in his hat 

And called it Macaroni, 

it may have been used as mere nonsense, the fun consisting in the in 
itself burlesque association of "feather in his hat" and "Macaroni" 
without any hidden meaning. In this case the word "Macaroni" 
would afford no tangible clue for tracing the earliest possible date of 
the verses. It is different if the prevailing and almost obviously 
correct impression be accepted that we have here an allusion to the 
London Macaronis imitated by a New England doodle with the aspi- 
rations of a dandy and a fop. 

According to Doctor Murray's Oxford English Dictionary the word 
"Macaroni" as applied to a certain kind of burlesque poetry, dates 
back to 1638 and flourished between 1727 and 1741. In the sense of 
fop, dandy, it was the exquisite of a class which arose in England 
about 1760 and consisted of young men who had traveled and affected 
the taste and fashions prevalent in continental society. Again, ac- 
cording to Doctor Murray, tins use seems to be from the name of the 

128 Ya nkee Doodle. 

"Macaroni Club," a deeignatiou probably adopted to indicate the 
preferences of the members for foreign cookery, macaroni still being at 
that time httle eaten, though the dish was known in England as early 
as Ben Jouson's time (1599). Horace Wfilpole,OD Februaiy 6,1764, 
speaks of " the Macaroni Club, which is composed of all the traveled 
young men, who wear long curls and spying glasses." A few months 
later, on May 27, 1764, he writes: "Lady Falkener's daughter ia to be 
married to a young rich Mr. Crewe, a Macarone, and of our Loo." 
Mr. Henry B. Wheatley in "London Past and Present" (1891, Vol. H, 
p. 453) states that the Macaroni Club was "instituted in 1764." Aa 
Mr. Wheatley does not allude to any authority for this definite date, 
I agree with Mr. Matthews that he ought rather to have stated "about 
1764." Moreover, Mr. Matthews unearthed an important account 
of the origin of the word as apphed to fops under the title "Macaroni 
explained" in the Scots Magazine for November, 1772: 

Macaroni te, in the Italian language, a wotd made use of to ezpreee a compound 
dish made of veimiceUi aod other paetes . . . "Hub diah was tat from being 
uoivetBally known in tliiB countiy till the commencement of the Imat peace: 
irtien, like many other foreign faahiona, it was imported by our tonnotetnti in 
eating, aa an improvement to the subacription-table at Almack's. In time, the 
BubecriberB to thoee dinnere became to be diBtinguished by the title of Maearoni; 
and as the meeting wae composed of the younger and gayer part of our nobility 
and gentry, who, at the mme time that they gave in to the luxuries of eating, 
went equally into the eztiava^ancea of dreae, the word Macaroni changed its 
meaning to that of a pemon who exceeded the ordinary bounds of fashion, and 
is now juBtly used as a term of reproach to all ranks of people, indi&erently, idio 
fall into this absurdity. 
The "last peace" was the Peace of Paris, 1763. This together 
with the fact that the statement was made less than a decade from 
that peace and that nobody has succeeded in unearthing a reference 
to "Macaroni" in the sense of fop earlier than 1764, leads to a very 
simple conclusion: If in our "Yankee Doodle" lines the word 
"Macaroni" is used in the sense of fop, then the lines ahnost with 
certainty had their origin after 176^. It is further significant that 
the Macaronis, who affected immense knots of artificial hair, ludi- 
crously small cock-hats [!], enormous walking sticks with long tassels 
and jackets, waistcoats and breeches of very close cut (see Wright's 
Caricature History of the Georges, London [186S], p. 259), reached 
the height of their reign as arbiters of advanced fashion from about 
1770 to 1775. All this direct and circumstantial evidence on the 
words "Yankee Doodle" and "Macaroni" leads to the conclusion 
that our doggerel quatrain did not originate until about or after 1764. 
Furthermore, it undermines the possibility that the verses were not 
written in America and since no reference is made in English sources 
to these lines until far into the nineteenth century, it may be taken 
for granted that indeed the lines originated in America. The question 
would still remain open, by whom were they written? By a city- 
bred Colonial, who merely doairod to ridicule the rustic New Eng- 


Yankee Doodle. 129 

landers, or by a Tory or by a Britisher t Had two or three verses, 
unmistakably belonging together, been preserved instead of one, 
the question would probably have been easy to answer. The stanza — 

Yankee Doodle came to town 
Riding on a pony, etc. 

never appears with companion stanzas, and yet it is safe to say that 
such existed. Unless an authentic contemporary copy of the whole 
''poem" turns up, we, at this late date, can do no more than call 
attention to some verses which have survived, and which may have 
belonged to the original string of stanzas, or at least may have been 
inspired by them. Such verses are the following: 

1. From Watson's ''Annals of Philadelphia," 1844, contained also 
in his letter of February, 1832 : 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

For to buy a firelock: 
We will tar and feather him 

And BO we will John Hancock. 

2. Samuel Breck in his "Recollections'' (1877, p. 132), writing 
about 1830 and speaking of John Hancock, said: 

. . . This subject brings to my mind four YerBOB to the tune of ''Yankee Doodle" 
often sung by the British officers during the Revolution: 

Madam Hancock dreamt a dream j 

She dreamt she wanted something; 
She dreamt she wanted a Yankee Kmg, 

To crown him with a pumpkin. 

3. George H. Moore's manuscript on "Yankee Doodle" pre- 
viously mentioned contains this stanza recorded by an ''old gentle- 
man who recalled [it] about 1830 as one of a ditty conunon in his 
own school days:" 

Yankee Doodle came to town 

Put on his strip'd trowse's 
And vowM he could n't see the place (town) 

There was so many houses. 

This last verse, just as the *' Macaroni '^ verse, deals humorously with 
the personal appearance of Yankee Doodle, and while slightly satirical, 
might have been written not only by a Britisher, but by any American, 
Tory or Rebel, who desired to poke some fim at the New England 
coimtry bimipkins. It is different with the first and second verse 
just quoted. They obviously can have been penned only by a Tory 
or a Britisher, and the question merely is what date of origin their 
contents suggest, though they do not seem to have appeared in print 
imtil far into the nineteenth century. A brief reference to the biog- 
raphy of so well known a historical figure as John Hancock will 
answer the question without much further comment: 

Bom in 1737 at Quincy, Mass., John Hancock became one of the most active 
** Sons of Liberty" (after 1765), a representative of the Massachusetts Legislature, 
1766-1772, and he was a member of the Committee to demand of the royal governor 
the removal of the British troops from Boston, 1770. The efforts of the governor 
to secure his and Samuel Adams's person, led to the Battle of Lexington April 18 

86480-09 9 

130 Yankee Doodle. 

and 19, 1775 uid caused Gen. Gage to exclude both from the general pardon granted 
the rebels. Chosen President of the"^ Provincial Congress in October, 1774, he 
became a delegate to the Continental Qongress, 1775-1780, and its President from 
May, 1775, to October, 1777. He married Dorothy Quincy at Fairfield, Conn., 
August 28, 1775. 

The "Madam Hancock*' verse, therefore — so it may be argued — 
was not written before August 28, 1775, but a "Madam Hancock" 
may have been introduced for reasons of satire into this verse by its 
author without the slightest knowledge whether or not John Hancock 
was married. Nor do the words "Yankee King" necessarily point 
to the year 1775, when Hancock became President of the Continental 
Congress, because it appears from "A New Song" in the Boston 
(Gazette of March 26, 1770 (to which Mr. Matthews called my atten- 
tion) that the sobriquet "K — g H — k" was applied to him as early 
as 1770. However, "Madam Hancock" and "Yankee King" taken 
together would seem to lend force to the conjecture that this particular 
verse originated after August 28, 1775, rather than before. No such 
circumstantial evidence attaches to the "tar and feather" verse, 
except that from 1768 on the patriots delighted in inflicting this pas- 
time on the Tories, and that John Hancock certainly was despised 
by Tory and Britisher alike after 1770 more than before. 

The three verses beginning "Yankee Doodle came to town," it may 
safely be assumed, belong to the same breed of verses, though they 
and others may not have been written by one author or on the same 
occasion. The "Madam Hancock" verse surely had a source not 
very distant from that of the others, and as far as the date of origin 
of all four verses is concerned, everything seems to point to a date 
later than 1770. For practical purposes, indeed, these verses may 
be said to have been written probably about 1775. 

On page 105 of this report Gteorge H. Moore's impublished opinion 
of Doctor Shuckburgh's share in the fortimes of "Yankee Doodle" 
was quoted in part. He there mentions as "The only verses I have 
met with which carry any appearance of having been a part of the 


There is a man in our town 

I pity his condition. 
He sola his oxen ana his sheep 

To buy him a commission — 

When his own commission he had got. 

He proved a nation coward 
He durst not go to Cape Breton 

For fear he'd be devoured. 

Moore does not say that he got these verses from an "old gentle- 
man " remembering them like the " Strip'd trowse's " verse about 1830, 
nor does he state who this old gentleman was, nor would a disclosure 
of identity help us much. Any attempt to date these two verses must 
take its cue from the allusion to Cape Breton : the author of the verses, 

Yankee Doodle. 131 

clearly belonging together, referred either to the capture of Cape 
Breton on June 17, 1745, by the Americans, or by General Amherst on 
July 26, 1758 (Louisbourg). 

Here the matter would have to rest, but for the "Yankee Doodle" 
song published by Thomas Skillem, of London, between 1777 and 1799, 
and preserved at the British Museum. As stated on page 177, Mr. ^ 
Matthews discovered another copy at Boston in possession of Mr. 
Ritchie, jr., who allowed the Library of Congress to secure a facsimile. 
(See Appendix, PL XX.) The title and text read : 

TANKBB doodle; 

(as now christened by the Saints of New England) 


N. B. The Words to be Sung throu' the Nose, <& in the West 

Country drawl & dialect. 

[Here the music and first verse follow.] 

1. Brother Ephraim sold his Cow 

And bought him a Commission, 
And then he went to Canada 

To fight for the Nation. 
But when Ephraim he came home 

He proved an arrant Coward, 
He wouldn't fight the Frenchmen there, 

For fear of being devoured. 

2. Sheep's Head and Vinegar, 

ButterMilk and Tansy, 
Boston is a Yankee town. 

Sing Hey Doodle Danay. 
First we'll take a Pinch of Snuff, 

And then a drink of Water, 
And then we'll say, How do you do. 

And that's a Yanky's Supper. 

3. Aminidab is just come Home, 

His Eyes all greas'd with Bacon 
And all the news that he cou'd tell 

Is Cape Breton is taken. 
Stand up Jonathan 

Figure in by Neighbor, 
Nathan stand a little off 

And make the Boom some wider. 

4. Christmas is a coming Boys, 

We'll go to Mother Chases, 
And there we'll get a Sugar Dram, 

Sweeten 'd with Melas^es. 
Hekh ho for our Cape Cod, 

Heigh ho Nantasket, 
Do not let the Boston wags 

Feel yoiur Oyster Basket. 

6. Punk in Pye is very good. 

And so is Apple Luitem, 
Had you been whipp'd as oft as I 

You'd not have been so wanton. 
Uncle is a Yankee Man, 

I 'faith he pays us all off, 
And he has got a Fiddle 

As big as Daddy's Hpg's Trough. 


132 Ya nkee Doodle. 

Stanzas sixth and seventh are too obscene for quotation. The 
sixth, however, contains a reference to ''Doctor Warren/' and if the 
famous patriot Joseph Warren is meant, as is probable, then this 
stanza must have been written after 1764, when Warren began to 
practice medicine at Boston, and most likely before June 17, 1775, 
when he was killed at the Battle of Btmker Hill. If the whole song \ 

were known as a unit, and printed by SkiUem in ita original and 
complete form, then the allusion to Doctor Warren would also settle 
the approximately latest date of the text. In the absence of any . 

such positive information, we are obliged to fall back on the single I 

stanzas and on the title. Whatever the date of the text in part or I 

as a whole may be, the title '' Yankee Doodle or The Lexington j 

March" clearly alludes to the momentous battle of Lexington and j 

Concord April 18 and 19, 1775, and can not have been prefixed to 
the text before this date, though, of course, the text could have been 
written earlier without this particular title. The second and fifth 
stanza do not offer any clew except * 'Boston is a Yankee town*' 
and ''Uncle is a Yamkee Man." The history of the use of the word , 

as applied to New England, renders it probable that these stanzas 
were written after 1760. The third mentions the taking of Cape 
Breton as "news," but it is not at all necessary to date the stanza | 

therefore as early as 1745 or 1758. The joke of the stanza may have ) 

consisted in this, to picture the Yankee Aminidab as such a country | 

biunpkin and so absurdly behind the times, that "all the news that 
he cou'd tell" was the taking of Cape Breton. The more years had 
elapsed since that memorable event, the more effective the joke. 
Whether this was the intention of the author or not, we at least 
need not hesitate to date the stanza later than several months after 
July 26, 1758, because it would really be carrying historical accuracy 
too far to consider seriously the year 1745 in connection with any 
"Yankee Doodle" song. 

The first stanza is still more puzzling. It may refer either to the 
French-Canadian war, and more particularly again to the year 1758, 
or to our own expedition to Canada in 1776. In the latter case the 
allusion to "The Frenchman" would be a little troublesome, though 
here again the joke may consist in ridiculing Brother Ephraim's 
anachronistic notions. That in older times the stanza was con- 
nected with the French-Canadian war rather than with the war of 
the Revolution may be argued from the fact that the two verses 
quoted on page 130 clearly refer to the expedition against Cape 
Breton in 1758, and these two verses, it will be noticed, are strikingly 
kin to the "Brother Ephraim" stanza. So kin indeed that one must 
have been evolved from the other. The two four liners, whatever 
their date of origin, were not recorded imtil far into the nineteentlx 

Yankee Doodle. 183 

century, whereas the ''Brother Ephraim" stanza was published 
possibly as early as 1777. Consequently, in absence of proof to the 
contrary, the natural assumption must be that the ''Brother 
Ephraim" stanza was the prototype. 
The inferences to be drawn from this text interpretation are these: 

(1) If the poem including the title was a unit, then it must have 
been written some time after April 18, 1775 (battle of Lexington and 
Concord), but not very much later than June 17, 1775 (Warren's 
death) . 

(2) If the poem was a unit, originally without the title "Yankee 
Doodle or the Lexington March,'' then it might have been written 
not much later than June 17, 1775, and not earlier than 1764. 

(3) If the poem printed in this form, was a composite, then the 
single verses were written any time after July 26, 1758 (Amherst's 
victory at Cape Breton), and before the date of publication. 

Whatever inference be preferred, with all its consequences, no dis- 
agreement seems possible on the point that this text was not written 
by a New Englander, but can only have been penned by either an 
American Tory or a Britisher. Here attention must be called to 
the statement of Reverend Gordon (see p. 95), who imder date of 
"Roxbury, April 26, 1775," calls "Yankee Doodle" "a song com- 
posed in derision of the New Englanders." In view of such contem- 
porary evidence it would be folly to deny the substantial correctness 
of this statement. Whether or not the story recorded by the anony- 
mous author in Farmer & Moore's Collections, May, 1824, correctly 
adds the detail "composed by a British oflBcer of the Revolution" 
is immaterial. The fact remains that verses composed, i. e., written 
in derision of the New Englanders must have existed before April 26, 
1775, in form of a specific well-known song, to which, of course, any 
nimiber of verses might have been added later on ad libitum. If 
the first of the three inferences enumerated above be adopted, then 
the shortness of the interval between April 18 and April 26, 1775, 
would seem to exclude the possibility that Reverend Gordon had 
"Yankee Doodle or the Battle of Lexington" in mind, and in that 
case the "Yankee Doodle came to town" verses would oflfer them- 
selves more readOy for a solution of the problem. If, on the other 
hand, inferences second or third be preferred, we would have our 
choice between two texts without much evidence in favor of either. 
However, there exists a ffiird text, and the inability to keep the three 
asunder has caused much of the frightful confusion surroimding our 
"Yankee Doodle." 

In the history of the American drama, Royall Tyler's comedy "The 
Contrast" holds the place of a pioneer work. Though not published 
until 1790, at Philadelphia, the play was acted as early as April, 1787, 
at New York, and performed there and elsewhere with more or less 

134 Ya nkee Doodle. 

success. In ''The Contrast '' we find in Act III, scene 1, this amusing 
bit of dialogue. Jonathaa, the first stage Yankee, when asked to sing 
a song, says: 

aU my tunes go to meeting tunes [psalm tunes], save one, and I count you 
won't altogether like that 'ere. 

Jenny: What is it called? 

JoncUhan: I am sure you have heard folks talk about it, it is called Yankee 

Jenny: Oh I it is the tune I am fond of, and, if I know any thing of my mistress, 
she would be glad to dance to it. Pray, sing? 

Jonathan [Sings]: 

Father and I went up to camp. 

Along with Captain Goodwm; 
And there we saw the men and boys, 

As thick as hasty-pudding. 
Yankee doodle do, etc. 

And then we saw a swamping gun 

Big as a log of maple, 
On a little deuced cart, 

A load for Other's cattle. 
Yankee Doodle do, etc. 

And every time they fired it off 

It took a horn of powder. 
It made a noise like fother^s gun. 

Only a nation louder. 

Yankee Doodle do, etc. 

There was a man in our town 
His name was 

No, no, that won't do. . . . [after some dialogue] 

Jonathan: No, no, I can sing no more, some other time, when you and I are 
better acquainted, I'll sing the whole of it — no, no — that's a fib — I can't sing but 
a hundred and ninety-nine verses: Our Tabitha at home can sing it aU — [Sings] 

Marblehead's a rocky place, 

And Gape-Cod is sandy; 
Charlestown is burned down, 

Boston is the dandy. 
Yankee doodle, doodle do, etc. 

I vow my own town song has put me into such topping spirits, that I believe I'll 
begin to do a little, as Jessamy says we must when we go a courting — . . . 

Enough of the dialogue has been quoted to make it self-evident 
that Royall Tyler did not write these verses himself, but merely 
borrowed them for his purposes from what the Germans so happily 
call the "Volksmimd.'' Discoimting some of the hundred and 
ninety-nine verses as part of Tyler's humorous poetic license, it is 
clear that many folk poets must have been at work to form such an 
endless chain of verses for Yankee Doodle, the single links of which 
would be left out or inserted according to local preferences, as is so 
often the case with folk songs. It is, furthermore, clear that the text, 
whole or in part, could not have become so well known and popular 
in one or two or three years in a coimtry like America to make a 
reference to more than 199 ballad verses an effective bit of humorous 


Yankee Doodle. 135 

exaggeration and comedy writing. Thus we seem to drift back toward 
Revolutionaiy times, but it is iJso significant that at least the verse 
'^Marblehead's a rocky place" can not have been written before Jime 
17, 1775, the day on which Charlestown was burned down by General 
Gage. Nor would there have been any sense in writing them after 
1785, when the town was rapidly rising from the ashes. 

Curiously enough, this verse, which seems to have been written 
between middle of June, 1775 and 1785, appears in none of the 
historically important sources of the publications of the '^ Yankee 
Doodle" text. No safe inference is to be drawn from this fact, but 
one is naturally inclined to believe that it was a local interpolation 
not belonging to the original text. 

The publications of the text alluded to are the following: 

(1) A broadside entitled "The Yankee's Return From Camp," 
containing fifteen stanzas and adorned in the upperhand comers by 
two grotesque woodcuts. This broadside is in the possession of the 
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester. The Library of Congress 
possesses, by courtesy of this institution, a photographic facsimile of 
this broadside (See Appendix, PI. XXI), as also of the following 
broadside preserved at the American Antiquarian Society: 

(2) "The Yankey's Return From Camp. Together with the 
favorite Song of the Black Bird. " This version of " Yankee Doodle, " 
too, has fifteen stanzas. (See Appendix, PI. XXTT.) 

(3) "The Farmer and his Son's return from a visit to the Camp." 
The whereabouts of the original of this broadside are now imknown, 
but Mr. Worthington C. Ford, while still with the Boston Public 
Library, had a blueprint made of the original, and this blueprint he 
presented to Mr. Albert Matthews of Boston. Mr. Matthews, in turn, 
permitted the Library of Congress to photograph this doubly imique 
blueprint for this report. A description is unnecessary, as Plate 
XXIEI shows this blueprint in facsimile. 

(4) Under title of ''Yankee Doodle" eleven stanzas contributed by 
an anonymous writer to Farmer and Moore's Collections (1824, voL 3, 
p. 159-160), with five stanzas added by the editors: 


1. Father and I went down to camp, 

Along with Captain Goodwin, 
Where we see Hie men and boys 
As thick as "HaBty-puddin, 

2. There was captain Washington 

Upon a slapping stallion, 
A Riving orders to his men — 
I gtuss there was a million. 

3. And then the feathers on his hat, 

They looked so tamalfina^ 
I wanted pockily to get 
To give to my Jemima. 

136 Ya nkee Doodle. 

4. And there they had a noampin gun 
As large as log of maple, 
On a deuced little cart — 
A load for father's cattle; 

6. And every time they fired it off. 
It took a horn of powder: 
It made a noise like father's gun. 
Only a nation louder. 

6. I went as near to it myself 

As Jacob's underpinnin, 
And father went as near again — 
I thought the deuce was in him. 

7. And there Iseesk little keff, 

Its heads were made of leather — 
They knock 'd upon 't with little sticks 
To call the folks together. 

8. And there they'd fife away likefun. 

And play on comstock fiddles, 
And some nad ribbands red as blood, 
All wound about their middles. 

9. The troopers, too^ would gallop up 

And fire right m our faces; 
It Bcar'd me almost half to death 
To see them run such races. 

10. Old uncle Sam. coTne there to change 

Some pancakes and some onions, 
For lasses-cakes, to carry home 
To give his wife and young ones. 

11. But I can't tell you half I see 

They kept up such a smother; 
So I took my nat off — ^made a bow. 
And scamper 'd home to mother. 

[The editors are in i>ossession of a copy of Yankee Doodle which contains several 
verses more than the foregoing. We will add them, thou^ we are not certain but 
that they are interpolations.] 

After verse 6: 

Cousin Simon grew so bold, 

I thought he would have cock'd it. 
It scar'd me so, I shrink 'd it off. 

And hung by father's pocket. 

And Captain Davis had a eun, 

He kind a clapt his hanof on 't. 
And stuck a crooked stabbing iron 

Upon the little end on 't. 

And there I see a pumpkin shell. 

As big as mother's bason, 
And every time they touch 'd it off, 

They scamper 'd like the nation. 

After verse 10: 

I see another snarl of men 
A dignng graves, they told me, 

So tarnal long, so tamafdeep, 
They tended they should hold me. 

It scar'd me so, I hooked it off 
Nor stopt as I remember. 

Nor tum'd about till I got home, 
Lock'd up in mother's chamber. 

Yankee Doodle. 137 

A comparison of the three broadsides given in the Appendix in 
photographic facsimile proves that the texts are identical, though 
the titles and the orthography differ a little. Each broadside has 
fifteen stanzas in the same sequence, each has the spelling '' Yankey 
Doodle'' in the chorus, and what is not without importance, each 
has ^'Captain Gooding" in the second line of the first stanza. These 
three broadsides therefore represent three issues of one and the same 
poem not only, but of the poem in a concrete and accepted form. 

The anonymous contributor to Fanner & Moore's Collections re- 
marked that his was a ''copy of the song as it was printed thirty-five 
years since, and as it was troll'd in our Yankee circles of that day." 
This would establish the year 1789 as approximate date of the original 
publication, but it does not follow that he actually copied the words 
from a printed broadside or page before him at the time of writing 
his article. He may have copied from memory, as it were, the song 
as printed and current about 1789. Though no broadside or sheet 
song appears to have come down to us with the imquestionable date 
of 1 789, we are not justified in assxmiing that the anonymous invented 
the existence of a publication of the ''Yankee Doodle" text about 
1789, and in absence of negative proof are permitted only to regret 
that no copy of this publication is accessible.^ 

It is clear that this Yankee Doodle story lends itself to endless 
variation and expansion, and Royall Tyler's himaorous "one hundred 
and ninety-nine verses" is an illusion to the fertility of the folk mind 
in inventing new stanzas with or without local flavor. Between 1 789 
and 1824 our anonymous therefore must have heard many stanzas 
not printed in the nonextant publication of 1789. If he then, in 1824, 
did not copy the text from a broadside before him, but from memory, 
very probably he no longer was able to distinguish such stanzas as 
actually occurred in the 1789 edition from those added later on. Nor 
would he be absolutely successful in adhering to the original order 
of the stanzas or in every instance to the original text. That this 
conjecture, and not the one which would imply actual copy of a 
broadside before the anonymous contributor to Farmer & Moore, 
comes nearer the truth may be inferred from the facts that the first 
seven stanzas of the eleven, though not in the same sequence, appear 
in the old broadsides, that the five stanzas added by Farmer & Moore 
appear in the same broadsides, and that only three of the fifteen 
stanzas in these broadsides do not appear in Farmer & Moore. Con- 
sequently Fanner & Moore used a copy of one of these three broad- 

a ThiB attitude involves certain consequences, for instance, as the tenth stanza con- 
tains a reference to "old Uncle Sam." This Americanism possibly was derived from 
Yankee Doodle verses current about 1789, and did not originate aa late as about 1812. 

138 Ya nkee Doodle. 

sides, and since it will become clear that they contain in all proba- 
bility the original text in an accepted form it follows that not the 
five stanzas added by Farmer & Moore, but, on the contrary, the 
stanzas eight to eleven in the version of oui anonymous are interpo- 
lations. It will be further noticed that three of the stanzas appear 
also in Royall Tyler's comedy. Consequently, everything tends to 
safeguard the assumption that here we have the text of the '' Yankee's 
Return from Camp " in its best-known, oldest, and presimiably original 
form. The question now is whether or not the broadsides them- 
selves help to trace the date of origin of this text. The '* Yankee's 
Return from Camp" has the imprint, '*N. Coverly, jr., Printcir, Milk- 
Street, Boston.'' Reference to the Boston City Directories proves 
that this printer flourished between 1810 and 1823, the '' jr." disappear- 
ing from the directory of 1818. However, the broadside can not 
have been printed after 1813, since it forms part of the curious collec- 
tion of songs, ballads, etc., in three voliunes, presented to the Amer- 
ican Antiquarian Society by Isaiah Thomas in 1814, with the state- 
ment that it was ^'prnrchased from a ballad printer and seller in 
Boston, 1813. Bound up for preservation — to shew that the articles 
of this kind are in vogue with the vulgar at this time, 1814." Con- 
sequently the date of this particular broadside is fixed as between 
1810 and 1813. 

No such definite clew is given in the broadside of *'The Yankey's 
Return from Camp. Together with the favorite Song of the Black 
Bird." The spelling of Yankey instead of Yankee suggests the sec- 
ond half of the eighteenth century rather than the first half of the 
nineteenth, but the argument is not a safe one, since the spelling 
with y is easily traced in early nineteenth-centiuy literatiure. Indeed, 
it appears in the very chorus of Coverly's broadside, 1810-1813. In 
his amazingly minute monograph on the Americanism ''Uncle Sam" 
(p. 61 of the reprint from Proceedings of the Am. Ant. Soc, 1908), 
Mr. Matthews infers from Isaiah Thomas's dedicatory words accom- 
panying the gift of this ballad collection that om: anonymous broad- 
side was "probably printed in 1813." In private correspondence 
(November 30, 1908) Mr. Matthews asserts that "The burden of the 
proof lies on him who asserts that the 'Yankey's Return ' was printed 
before 1813." I utterly fail to see how even a strictly literal inter- 
pretation leads to a definite year. Isaiah Thomas merely says that 
he purchased the entire collection, not merely this broadside, from 
a ballad printer and seller in 1813. Even without the fact that 
some of the ballads were printed earlier, it would have been contrary 
to common sense to assimie that the three volumes of ballads were 
actually printed in one and the same year, 1813. Thomas's words 
do not really give any clew to the dates of publication of his ballads, 

Yankee Doodle. 189 

except that they can not have been later than 1813^ and that they 
are somewhat limited by the remark '^in vogue with the vulgar 
at this time, 1814." But if they were in vogue one year after the 
collection was piux^hased by him, they may, at the very least, have 
been in vogue one year before, 1812. But I doubt that Isaiah Thomas 
intended his remarks to be taken thus narrowly, and it will be 
methodically just as correct to give his words enough elasticity to 
prevent literal interpretations from ending xmnecessarily in blind 
alleys. ''At this time, 1814," may safely be taken to mean about 
this time, or, in roimd figures, as we are dealing with popular ballads 
more or less in vogue, the first quarter of the nineteenth century. 

We also fail to find a definite clew to the date of pubUcation of 
this particular broadside, if we turn our attention to '*The favorite 
song of the Black Bird." All authorities (see f. i., Christie's Tradi- 
tional ballad airs) agree that the song appears in the very earliest 
edition of Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany, 1724-1727, and Mr. Grat- 
tan Flood, in his History of Irish Music, 1906, asserts that he found 
allusion to the song in 1709. Of course, the broadside can not have 
been published before ''The Black Bird" became a favorite, and 
probably was not published after the song had ceased to be a favor- 
ite. Di^erent melodies have been recorded for this song, but the 
texts preserved are practically identical and the text proves "The 
1 Black Bird " to be a Jacobite song. One version is given on page 68 

of the second volume of Hogg's Jacobite Rehcs, 1821, and it is very 
significant that the author says in his note on the song (p. 288): 

The Blackbirdi seems to have been one of the street songs of the day; at least, 
it is much in that style, and totally different from the manner of most Jacobite 
songs. It has had, however, considerable popularity. This copy was commu- 
nicated by Mr. Fairley, schoolmaster in Tweedsmuir. 

This surely does not read as if "the Blackbird" was still a favorite 
in Scotland in 1821. Furthermore, while it is claimed that the words 
appear in "The American Songster," Baltimore, 1830, it is a fact 
that most American songsters of the first quarter of the nineteenth 
century do not contain the song, nor can it be foimd in such stand- 
ard collections of Scotch songs as Smith's "Scottish Minstrel" [182-]; 
Graham's "Songs of Scotland," 1848-1850 ; Johnson's "Scotish musical 
musexmi," 1859-; Johnson's "Scots Musical Museimi " [1787]. There 
are still other reasons for holding that the song had passed its popu- 
larity in 1813. The words of "The Blackbird," as printed in the 
broadside and as anybody can see, clearly make veiled allusion to 
the Pretenders or their cause. The farther away from this time the 
song is removed chronologically the less popular it presumably was. 
Not only this, but the sentimental and once so popular song "The 
Maid's Lamentation," so the authorities in English folk song like 


140 Ya nkee Doodle. 

Baring-Qouid and Chappell tell us, had one of its earliest appear- 
ances in print in the '^ Songster's Magazine/' 1804, and this song has 
all the appearance of being a mere imitation and variation of "The 
Blackbird/' or at least of having been poetically influenced by it. 
The "Maid's Lamentation" in its early form beg^: 

Earlv one morning, just as the sun was rising 

I heard a young damsel sigh and complain 
Oh eentle shepherd, why am I forsaken? 

On why should I in sorrow remain! 

After that the lines differ widely, yet the imderlying poetic motive 
is the same — a lamentation on the loss of a beloved "blackbird/' or 
sailor, or shepherd, etc. 

All this seems to substantiate the impression that the broadside 
with "The favorite song of the Blackbird" should be dated away 
from the year 1813 rather than toward it. However, one part is 
imdeniable: The Blackbird can not have been printed together with 
"The Yankey's return from Camp" before the words of the latter 
were written. 

The mysterious F. B. N. S. wrote in 1857 and promised to prove 
in a book: 

The verses commencing " Father and I went down to the camp '' were written 
by a gentleman of Connecticut a short time after Gen. Washington's last visit 
to New England .... 

This visit occurred in the fall of 1789, and therewith collapses the 
statement of F. B. N. S. In fact, in this form it is so absurd that 
one is almost led to suspect that he did not mean exactly what he 
wrote. The absurdity would disappear if F. B. N. S., either not 
knowing of or forgetting Washington's last visit, really alluded to 
his forelast visit. This would carry us to the so-called "Provincial 
Camp," Cambridge, Mass., where George Washington arrived on 
July 2, 1 775, after his appointment as commander in chief of the 
American Army, and from where he removed headquarters after the 
evacuation of Boston oh March 26, 1776. Unfortunately the book 
of ballads in which F. B. N. S. promised proof of his statement (see 
p. 100) has not been traced, and therefore we are also entirely in the dark 
as to the reasons for assigning the authorship of the text to a gentle- 
man of Connecticut. Nor would this gentleman be without a com- 
petitor since Dr. Edward Everett Hale when printing the " Yankey's 
Return'* in his "New England History in Ballads,'' 1903, remarked: 

An autograph note of Judge Dawes, of the Harvard class of 1777, addressed tx> 
my &ther, says that the author of the well-known lines was Edward Banga, 
who graduated with him. 

The historian would have preferred to see the autograph note of 
Judge Dawes printed in full, as in this form it merely assigns the 
poem to a member of the Harvard class of 1777 without defining the 


Ya nkee Doodle. 141 

date or place of Eidward Bangs's poetic effusion. According to Doctor 
Hale's meager infonnation, Edward Bangs might have written the 
lines any year between the time he was able to mount Pegasus and 
1787, when part of the text was quoted in "The Contrast" written 
as Mr. Matthews suggestively pointed out in his monograph on 
"Uncle Sam" by a member of the Harvard class of 1776. In this 
connection it is also suggestive that Bangs had, as a college boy, 
joined the Middlesex farmers in the pursuit of April 19, 1775, that 
Harvard College was transferred from Cambridge to Concord in 
September, 1775, and returned to Cambridge in 1776. On the other 
hand there appears to exist no evidence, positive, circumstantial, or 
even traditional, that the words of the "Yankey's Return from 
Camp" were written or known before the war for independence, that 
is, before 1776. 

If we turn to the text itself, it clearly reveals an American origin. 
It is so full of American provincialisms, slang expressions of the time, 
allusions to American habits, customs, that no Englishman could 
have penned these verses. Even if he could have done so, he would 
not have done so, because his poetic efforts in this form would 
largely have been a puzzle to his comrades. Had this text been a 
British production, it would have found its way to England, which 
apparently is not the case. To be a British satire on the unmUitary 
appearance of provincial American troops, as has been said, the 
verses would have to be derisively satirical, which they are not. 
They breathe good-natured humor and they deal not at all with the 
uncouth appearance of American soldiery, but with the experience of 
a Yankee greenhorn in matters military who went down to a military 
camp and upon his return narrates in his own naive style the impres- 
sions made on him by all the wonderful sights of miUtaiy pomp and 
circumstance. But the text helps us beyond proving a mere 
American origin. Our Yankee clearly describes not an imaginary 
camp, but a particular camp, and part of the desired effect was 
calculated by the author from personal allusions: Captain Gooding, 
Squire David, Captain Davis, Captain Washington. These names 
were unmistakably borrowed from Uf e. One need not go deeply into 
the military records of the several States to find captains by the 
name of Gooding and Davis. A perusal of Heitman's "Historical 
Register of OflBcers of the Continental Army" of "Massachusetts 
Soldiers and the Sailors of the Revolutionary War," etc., will bear 
out my statement abundantly, indeed confusingly. At any rate, 
the names of Gooding and Davis can not be used against the present 
network of argument, whereas the allusion to and description of a 
"Captain Washington and gentlefolks about him" who is "grown so 
tamal proud, he will not ride without 'em," etc., as a bit of humor- 
ously twisted characterization, fits none so well as Geoige Washington, 

142 Yankee Doodle. 

commander in chief. Without this allusion to Geoige Washington, 
the date of the text would be indefinite within certain limits. With 
this allusion the conjecture becomes fairly safe that (he text cf 
'' Father and I went down to camp" originated ai or in (he vicinity of 
the ** Provincial Camp," Cambridge, Mass., in 1776 or 1776. 

This becomes an imavoidable conclusion, as much as anything can 
be conclusive in the absence of docmnentary evidence, if we now turn 
to the third broadside. (See facsimile PI. XXTTT.) The broadside 
is adorned by a crude woodcut of five soldiers, which suggests mili- 
tary times, but more suggestive is the fact that the title reads: ''The 
Farmer and his Son's return from a visit to the Camp.'' Not a camp, 
but the camp, and since George Washington is one of the heroes of the 
text, the article " ^" can not but refer to the provincial camp. The 
title of this broadside does not read so smooth and polished as that 
of "the Yankey's return from Camp," and for this reason, if for no 
other, we may conjecture that "The Yankey's" is an afterthought, 
not of the author, but of the folk, and that " The farmer and his son's 
return, etc.," antedates any version headed "The Yankey's return," 
indeed that the latter title did not appear in print before the New 
Englanders had proudly adopted for use amongst themselves this 
nickname "Yankee." Thus, to siun up, it would appear that the 
" Yankee Doodle" text " Father and I went down to camp " originated 
in 1775 or 1776, and that we have in this particular broadside its first 
and original edition printed presimiably shortly after it had been 
written. Since the fifteen stanzas are identical in the three earUest 
known editions, they clearly represent an accepted form of the text 
not only, but a form attributable to a single author, and it would 
really seem as if the authorship of Edward Bangs in 1775 rather than 
in 1776, rests on something more than tradition. 

An investigation of the "Yankee Doodle" text would not be com- 
plete without a brief consideration of the chorus refrain. Yet, strange 
to say, this appears not to have aroused any interest, though as a 
matter of fact the refrain may hold incidentally the key to the whole 
problem of the origin of the time. As time went by, the refrain was 
altered and paraphrased to suit the merits and intentions of the occa- 
sion, but such versions are of no accoimt historically in this particular 
connection. It is diflferent, of course, with the text in Farmer & 
Moore and in the three broadsides analyzed above. No refrain 
appears in Farmer & Moore, but the three broadsides have: 

Yankev doodle, keep it up, 

Yankey doodle dandy, 
Mind the mueic and the step. 

And with the girls be hanay. 

Though conjectiutd analysis seems to force us to date the "Yankee 
Doodle" text beginning "Father and I went down to camp" either 

Yankee Doodle. 143 

1775 or 1776| yet this is after all a conjecture and all we positively 
know is that some of the verses appeared in print as early as 1790 in 
Tyler's "The Contrast." In this comedy, however, the full chorus 
refrain is not given, merely "Yankee doodle do, etc.," but it does 
appear in a song written by "A Yankee" in commemoration of the 
adoption of the Federal Constitution by Massachusetts, and this song 
was reprinted in the Independent Chronicle, Boston, March 6, 1788, 
from the Pennsylvania Mercury. The ballad "Yankee Doodle's 
Expedition to Rhode Island " in Rivington's Royal Gazette, October 
3, 1778, has merely "Yankee Doodle, etc." 

In Dibdin's "The Return of Ulysses to Ithaca" (1780), 1788, and 
in Andrew Barton's "The Disappointment," 1767, we have "Yankee 
Doodle, etc." The difference between these sources and Tyler is 
very slight, but it is also very suggestive, since the Dibdin and Barton 
refrain may have had the full text as given above, while the presence 
of the additional do in the Tyler refrain makes the use of this text at 
least doubtful. And this is not at all startling, but has a very obvious 
explanation if one reads the following references, some of which I owe 
to the courtesy of Mr. Matthews. 

There appeared in the Royal Gazette, November 27, 1779, 


Written by a Yankee, and sung to the tune of Doodle-doo: 

The Frenchman came upon the coast 
Our great allies, and thev did boast 
They soon would bang tne British host. 
Doodle, Doodle-doo, pa, pa, pa, pa, pa. 

It should be borne in mind that this is a British satire, not really a 
patriotic Yankee song. Moving backwards, we find that in 1772 
G. A. Stevens included in his ** Songs, Comic and Satyrical." 


Tune — Ev^ry where fine ladies flirting. 

Younglings fond of Female Ghaces, 
Mount of Hopes in Wedlock's Kacee, 
Some for Fortune, some for Faces. 
Doodle, Doodle, Doo, etc. 

The same refrain was used in **A Royal Love Song, 1770," in 
*'A low Song upon a High Subject," 1769, and as printed in the 
Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, London, January 6, 1776 for — 

A new Song, entitled and called, the Best exchange: The old fumblers for 
young lovers. To the tune of Doodle, Doodle, Doo. 

Still earlier we have in the St. James Chronicle, February 3-6, 1763 : 

A new Song. Sung at a certain Theatre Royal in the character of a Frenchman. 
Tune — Doodle, Doodle, doo: 

See me just arrived from France-e: 
All de vay from dere I dance-e,' 
Vid my compliments I greet ye; 
All de vile I mean to sheat ye. 
Doodle, etc. 

144 Yankee Doodle. 

And in 1762, September 13 (reprinted in T. Wright's Caricature 
History of the Georges, 1868) : 

THE congress; or, a device to lower the land tax, to the tune of doodle, 


Here you may see the happy Congreas 
All now is done with such a homrgraot^ 
No English wight can surely grumble, 
Or cry, our treaty-makers fumble. 

Doodle, dooole, do., etc. i 



The ''Caricature History" also contains ''The Motion" (p. 128) j 

among verses clearly relating to the Duke of Argyle and to the 
year 1741, this one: 

Who de dat de box to sit on? 
'Tis John, the hero of North Briton, 
Who, out of place, does place-men epit on, 
I)oodle, etc. 

We are carried far into the seventeenth century by Edw. Ravens- 
croft's comedy after the Italian manner "Scaramouch a philosopher, 
Harlequin a School-boy,'' 1677. In the fifth act, first scene Harlequin 
sings "ridiculously" "Tricola, tracola" mixed with "Doodle-doodle- 
doo," and "Toodle-doodle-doo." 

In "the Witch of Edmonston" by William Rowley, Thomas Dek- 
ker, John Ford, etc., 1658, Act IV, scene 1, occurs this interesting 

Enter Anne Ratcliff tnad. 

Rate. Oh my Ribs are made of a payned Hose, and they break. There's a 
Lancashire hornpipe in my throat: hiurk how it tickles it, with Doodle, Doodle, 
Doodle, Doodle. 

And finally in Middleton's & Rowley's "The Spanish Gipsy," 1663 
(acted 1623 or 1624), Sancho sings a line with Doodle-doo. 

What do these references prove? First, that a chorus refrain 'with 
"Doodle-doodle, do" existed as early as the middle of the seventeen tli 
century. In America the word "Yankee" was grafted on to this not 
later than 1767 (Barton's Disappointment), and the form of "Yankee 
Doodle do" was used as late as 1787 or 1790 (Tyler's Contrast). If 
the internal and other evidence submitted led to the conclusion that 
the "Father and I" text originated 1775 or 1776, then the conjecture 
is fairly safe that the refrain "Yankee Doodle keep it up" is of the 
same date. This conclusion in turn would lead to the other that in 
Barton's ' ' Disappointment " the older refrain ' ' Yankee Doodle-doodle 
do" was used. But the references would appear to establish a very 
much more important point, namely, the existence of a tune called 
"Doodle, doodle, do" certainly as early as 1762 and probably as early 
as the seventeenth century. Indeed, we are almost compelled to 
assume that this tune was known as a LancasMre hornpipe as early 

Ya nkee Doodle. 


as 1658. Since the texts mentioned lend themselves more or less 
smoothly to our '^ Yankee Doodle" melody, the latter may be sus- 
pected to be identical with the ^'Doodle, doo" tune, but it would not 
necessarily follow that words were sung to it except as chorus refrain. 
In 1772 Stevens' ''Doodle Doo" was to be sung to the tune of ''Ev'ry 
where fine ladies flirting." I have not yet traced a song with these 
first words, but it will be noticed that they lend themselves smoothly 
to the ** Yankee Doodle" melody. This suggests the query: Were 
these perhaps the original words that went with the melody or were 
they grafted on the melody later, or do they, after all, represent a dif- 
ferent melody? I am not in a position to give any answer to these 
questions wUch might solve the problem of ''Yankee Doodle" in a 
manner heretofore hardly suspected. However, the existence of a 
"Doodle, doo" air before 1750 and possibly identical with the 
"Yankee Doodle" air has become so probable that this probability 
obliges the historian to move with caution and skepticism when 
examining the theories of the origin of "Yankee Doodle" not yet 
analyzed, namely, the Doctor Shuckburgh theory in Farmer and 
Moore's Collections, 1824, and the "All the way to Galway " theory 
of Mr. Grattan Flood, 1905.« 

a This book was in proof sheets when at last Mr. Frank Kidson, having at first ahnost 
denied the existence of such a tune, was able to send the author the following under 
date of Leeds, May 11, 1909: 

[** Doodle Doo. No. 176, p. 88, Wright's 200 Choice Country Dances, vol. 2d, ca. 1760.] 

JJtit=£cHf =H= ^ -^ ^ I ' I Tim 



In explanation Mr. Kidson, to whom again thanks are due for his professional 
courtesy, writes: 

" I have great pleasure in sending you the Doodle Doo which you will see prac- 
tically fits the words given in G. A. Steven's ''Songs Comic and Satyrical," 
Oxford, 1772, p. 134, song 72. 

I have copied the tune from a country dance book without title, but which I 
know for a certainty to be the second volume of Wright's 200 Country Dances, 
a later edition issued by John Johnson of Oheapside about 1750. Particulars are 
given in my British Music Publishers. . . Dan Wright first issued his two 
volumes, and then Johnson continued with his 3, 4, 5, & 6th, reprinting the 1st 
and 2d from his old plates with new plates substituted for certain cases. The 

85480-09 ^10 

146 Ya nkee Doodle. 

The latter does not call for a lengthy discussion, as the supposedly 
Irish origin of "Yankee Doodle" (see p. 106) is based simply on 
two assertions: First, that its structure is "decidedly Irish;" second, 
that it is identical with the Irish tune of "All the way to Oalway" 
as it appears in a manuscript dated 1750, the authority of which 
Mr. Grattan Flood says to be beyond question. 

Since the structure of the melody has been claimed with equal 
enthusiasm as decidedly Hessian, Himgarian, Scotch, English, etc. — 
indeed, in his letter quoted above, Mr. D. F. Scheurleer called my 
attention to the similarity of "Yankee Doodle" with the times of 
the itinerant Savoyards — ^Mr. Grattan Flood's manifestly sincere 
assertion can not be accepted without very careful proof as " intrinsic 
evidence." Mr. Grattan Flood's other assertion is somewhat 
strengthened by facts not mentioned in his interesting article. It 
appears from Sargent's "History of an expedition against Fort Du 
Quesne in 1755" (Philadelphia, 1855) that when Braddock's ill-fated 
campaign was being prepared drafts were made in Ireland "from 
the second battalion of the Royals, at Galway," besides from other 
Irish regiments. Furthermore, the "Orders for Foreign Service^" 
quoted in Knox's "Historical Journal of the Campaignes in North 
America for the years 1757, 1758, 1759 and 1760," leave no doubt 
that Major-General Kennedy's regiment stationed at Galway, the 
Fifty-fifth Regiment stationed at Galway and two other Irish regi- 
ments, the First or Royal Regiment of Foot and the Seventeenth 
Regiment of Foot, received marching orders in February. In this 
connection it is also noteworthy that in 1768 the Fifty-fifth Regiment 
participated in (General Abercrombie's \mlucky Lake expedition 
(Ticonderoga!), the First and the Seventeenth regiments in General 
Amherst's siege of Louisburgh, whereas Kennedy's Forty-third Regi- 
ment all through 1758 was condemned to idleness in Nova Scotia. 
However these facts may fit into the historical argument, it is known 
that of the 8,000 regulars voted by Parliament in 1757 for reenforce- 

old plates have the moons and half moons (as in the Dancing master), but the 

new plates have them not. 2>oo</Ze 2>oo is from a new plate issued about 1750 . . . 

I have some startling theories about Yankee Doodle name and tune, and one 

is that the first part is older than the 2d part. . . " 

It is clear that our Yankee Doodle and this Doodle Doo are not identical or even 

similar and that the several Yankee Doodle texts can not have been sung to this 

Doodle Doo. It is equally clear that the Doodle Doo texts quoted on p. 143 fit our 

Yankee Doodle well, but this Doodle Doo very poorly, if at all. Here, then, is a 

new puzzle and a new obstacle in the path that seemed to lead easily out of the whole 

Yankee Doodle labyrinth. Personally, I still adhere to the belief that there must 

have been kinship between Yankee Doodle and Doodle Doo, and I am keenly 

interested in Mr. Eidson's startling theories in the desperate hope that he at last 

may be able to give a satis&ctory solution of the Yankee Doodle puzzle. 

Ya nkee Doodle. 


ments, fully one-half were Irish. If then "Yankee Doodle'' is of 
Irish origin and identical with ''All the way to Galway/' it is clear 
how this influx of Irish soldiers may have helped to spread the air 
in America, even had it not been known previously to the Irish 
then settled in America. But, has Mr. Grattan Flood succeeded in 
proving the identity, without which his theory of the Irish origin, 
of course, collapses? On pages 123-125 of this report some of the 
early printed and manuscript versions of ''Yankee Doodle" are 
quoted, and here are two versions of "All the way to G^alway" as 
given by Mr. Grattan Flood in his arti<;le : 

All the Wat to Oalway 

Ms. 1750 

i ;f''^ r r ^ n ^ rrr r\\ r rfi'r77r i r r rf i" r7r 

l j' ' j r' l lHrlT^upij.^jji^rjj 

All thb Wat to Oalwat 

PSTRia 184 

To these may be added for more comprehensive comparison a 
manuscript version (ca. 1820) in possession of Mr. Frank Kidson: 

,j,'.^r:f f ri Qn-rr ^? =^J;U irjTrl^J 1^171 1 J=jl 

j. N JJJiuiJztiJUJ l /jJ lUTiLr^r I^TTl i j , ^ 

and the yetsion in Capt. Francis O'Neill's " Dance Music of Ireland " 
(Chicago, 1907, p. 172) : 





| ;j, '.J"Tri , ri' rlJ'JiJjJJJI-i-^J-^rrrl^]j J I I 


Ya nkee Doodle. 

If Mr. Grattan Flood says that the C natural in the first half of 
''All the way to Galway/' the so-called flat seventh; is unmistakably 
Irish; then the first half of " Yankee Doodle" is just as unmistakably 
not Irish. Though the eye may detect a similarity between the two 
first partS; to the musical ear they sound fundamentally \mlike. 
Only the first, third, and fifth bars of the eight in the 1750 version 
of "All the way to GJalway" could possibly be pressed into service 
for Mr. Orattan Flood's theory, which he bases, it should be kept in 
mind; on a comparison between Aird's "Yankee Doodle" of 1782 and 
a 1750 manuscript version of "All the way to Gal way." This com- 
parison becomes still more futile if the two second halves be con- 
trasted. Only one bar, the last, is identical, and that bar, I trust, 
may be f oimd in a million compositions. How weak the whole theory 
is appears convincingly if we figuratively try to cover one time with 
the other and apply the numerical test of identity:- "All the way to 
Gal way" has 57 notes, "Yankee Doodle" 52. Only 18 notes are 

It is easily seen how Mr. Grattan Flood came to embrace the Irish 
theory. There is an obvious wholesale similarity in melodic structure, 
if considerations of key be discarded, between the secong halves of the 
earliest "All the way to Galway" and same of the "Yankee Doodle" 
versions — ^for instance, those of Willig (p. 122) and Sousa (p. 123). 
Approximate similarity, not approximate identity! This similarity 
in melodic patterns belongs to the chapter on " Thematic coincidences 
and common property ' ' in the history of music. It is a fascinating but 
wholly unreliable and dangerous chapter. In the case of "Yankee 
Doodle" the wholesale similarity, as it was called above, may be 
admitted, but the moment deductions of identity are to be drawn 
from this similarity we are perfectly justified in claiming an equal 
share of similarity between "Yankee Doodle" and the Scotch air 
"^Will ye go to Sheriff muir" as given, for instance, in Hogg's "Jacob- 
ite ReUcs" (1819, V. I, p. 149): 

^ S« c ^ C--J5 r s r I r^^ C ' 1^^ p r 1 


§'' :'^ g* g cj 

Yankee Doodle. 

or, as in Qow's Third Repository (ca. 1806) : 


r |!rrJTrT7"f^ g 

r i^f c f ^ ^r\^^f^~n 

[^fLD=^^^faTtrj'-n^fWf^Tnrj r j ^^ 

Y i: rjjljr\u~irj tr' 

This version I owe to the courtesy of Mr. Frank Kidson, as also 
the much more important information that the ^'Slieriff Muir" air 
appears in Oswald's ''Caledonian Pocket Companion" (Book 6, circa 
1750-1760). Without this discovery it would merely be possible to 
state that the text of the air appears in Sample's "Poems and Songs 
of Robert Tannahill" (1876), among the "Unedited and unpublished 
pieces" (p. 354) of the poet (1774-1810), as doubtful, and that Hogg 
says "The air has long been popular." With Mr. Kidson's find, we 
would be able to offset the Irish claim for "All the Way to Galway" 
by a Scotch claim for " Will ye go to Sheriff Muir," since the proximity 
of the dates of first known appearance of both tunes would forbid to 
derive for the sake of argument "Will ye go to Sheriff Muir" and thus 
again incidentally "Yankee Doodle" from "All the Way to Galway." 
Should it be insisted that the Irish time dates "from about the first 
quarter of the 18th century," as Mr. Grattan Flood suspects under 
date of July 23, 1908, equal emphasis might be laid on the probability 
that Oswald did not print a new tune, but a popular, that is, a fairly 
old one, and that there might be some connection between it and the 
battle of Sheriffmuir, 1715. 

The probabilities are that neither "All the Way to Galway" nor 
"Will ye go Sheriffmuir" contributed anything to "Yankee Doodle." 
On the other hand, if mere similarity is to decide the origin of " Yankee 
Doodle," and if the latter's hypothetical prototype, the time "Doodle, 
doodle, doo" (or perhaps "Everywhere fine ladies flirting") should be 
found to antedate "All the Way to Galway," what would prevent the 
argument that "All the Way to Galway" borrowed its better half 
from " Yankee Doodle " instead of vice versaf However, not to let my 
personal opinion enter too much into this report, it should be noted 
that Mr. Grattan Flood's theory is by no means accepted by other 
eminent authorities. For instance, Mr. Frank Elidson wrote me 
under date of August 12, 1908, this sweeping statement: 

''All the Way to Galway* ' is not really like Yankee Doodle, and cannot be proved 
to be earlier in date even if it was like it. 

150 Ya nkee Doodle. 

And Captam Francis O'Neill under date of July 14, 1908, wrote: 

I agree with you in noting the diflsimilarity of the firat parts of the tunes under 
consideration, the style and composition of first part of Yankee Doodle is more 
modem. I must admit, no Irish tune, March or Air that I can remember, luimis- 
takably resembles the first part of Yankee Doodle and I have an excellent memory 
in such matters. 

The substance of the rather novelistic account (see pp. 96-97) 
which under the title of "Origin of Yankee Doodle" appeared in 
Farmer and Moore's Collections, 1824, is, to recapitulate, this: 

In 1755 Doctor Shackburg[!], a physician attached to the staff of 
General Abercrombie's army, encamped a little south of Albany, 
N. Y., on the ground "now" belonging to John I. Van Rensselaer, 
esq., "fo jiease hroiher Jonathan composed a tune" and wiih much 
gravity recommended it to ihe officers as one of the most cdebrated airs 
of martial music. The provincial troops, whose march, accoutre- 
ments, arrangement, the narrator with great glee compares to that 
of Sir John Falstaff's ragged regiment, took the bait, and in a few days 
nothing was heard in the provincial camp but the air of Yankee 

By utilizing the data printed in the "Historical Magazine," in 
O'Callaghan's New York Colonial Docimients, in the "Collections of 
the New York Historical Society," in the old British Army Lists, and 
combining them with the information contained in transcripts for the 
Library of Congress from the "Sir William Johnson Manuscripts of 
Letters, and passages relating to Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, 1745-1773," 
his life may be traced with sufficient clearness for the present purpose. 

It is a curious coincidence that two Richard Shuckburghs appear 
about this time in the British army lists, but the Richard Shuckburgh 
whose commission in the army dates from March 18, 1755, who in 
December of the same year became a lieutenant in the First Regi- 
ment of Foot Guards, and in 1768 a captain, can not possibly be 
connected with "Yankee Doodle" in preference to the Dr. Richard 
Shuckburgh for the simple reason that this regiment, since 1815 
commonly known as the Grenadier Guards, did not come to America 
before 1776. Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, on the other hand, was 
prospecting with a Captain Borrow as early as 1735 on the Delaware, 
and he held a commission as surgeon in the "Four Independent 
Companies of Foot at New York" since Jime 25, 1737. About 1748 
Doctor Shuckburgh began to take a lively interest in the Lidians, 
and as early as 1751 he speaks of his ambition to become secretary 
of Indian affairs imder Sir William Johnson, with whom he was on 
terms of friendship. When this position became vacant througli 
the death of Captain Wraxall in July, 1759, Sir WiUiam immediately 
appointed Dr. Shuckburgh to this office for which he appears to ha^e 

Yankee Doodle. 151 

been eminently qualified, haying in the words of Sir William John- 
son; March 24, 1760, ^'recorded all my proceedings with the several 
nations of Indians since the opening of the last campaign/' 1759. 
Unfortmiately Sir William delayed the report of his action and 
recommendation to the board of trade. Consequently, when his 
letter finally reached London, a Mr. Marsh, in 1761, had already been 
selected as Wraxall's successor. If it was bad enough for Shuck- 
burgh to be ''elbowed out'' of a position, as he put it, it was more 
imfortunate that the rules forbade him to hold two offices. In the 
firm expectation that his secretaryship would become permanent, 
he had in 1761 resigned his commission as sui^eon in the Independent 
Companies, and of course now found himself without any position. 
His disappointment at these developments gives the keynote to 
his correspondence of the next few years, though on January 10, 
1763, he is able to send Sir William the good news: 

I have compleated my Purchase with the Suigeon of the 17th Regt. and received 
my CommiBedon from the General the 29th ult. 

These facts explain why Shuckburgh suddenly disappears from 
the British army lists (carefully extracted for me by Mr. Lydenburg 
of the N. Y. Public Library), and just as suddenly reappears in 1764 
as surgeon of the Seventeenth Regiment of Foot, stationed since 1758 
in America. The most miserable year of his life Shuckburgh spent 
in 1765 at the military post of Detroit, separated for a full year from 
his family and for six months shut off from all communication. 
When he returned to New York at the end of 1765, the military 
service had lost its attraction for him, and he probably did not view 
the death of Mr. Marsh in the same year with much regret, since 
now the secretaryship of Indian affairs was again within reach. Sir 
WiUiam Johnson lost no time in repeating his former recommenda- 
tion, but not until 1767 did Shuckburgh receive the place. This 
appointment explains why not Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, but a 
Thomas White, appears as surgeon in the 17th regiment from May 
9, 1768, on. 

Shuckburgh was not to enjoy his new office for many years. On 
December 26, 1772, Sir William Johnson wrote of him to the Earl 
of Dartmouth as ''aged and of late very infirm," and on August 
26, 1773, the New York Gazetter printed this obituary notice: 

Died, at Schenectady, last Monday, Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, a gentleman of 
very genteel family, and of infinite jeet and humour. 

Sir William Johnson was greatly shocked by this news, and from 
Johnson Hall, September 30, 1773, wrote to Mrs. Shuckbxu'gh to 
assure her of his concern at her loss and of his great friendship for 
her husband. That he should, in the same letter, have called her 

152 Yankee Doodle. 

attention to the fact that her husband had borrowed $100 from him 
shortly before his death was at least not tactful, and the fact is 
mentioned here merely to show that Shuckburgh, though quite a 
property holder in the colony, was frequently in financial trouble. 
However, he had at least the satisfaction of seeing his daughter well 
married to a British officer. 

The obituary notice mentions Shuckbiu^h's ''infinite jest and 
humom*." His correspondence with Sir William Johnson would not 
permit this inference. It is of a serious turn and mainly expressive 
of his disappointment at not having received the secretaryship of 
Indian affairs. Yet one or two letters contain a few humorous 
remarks, and that Shuckbiu^h was conscious of his humorous talents 
appears from a letter to Sir William Johnson imder date of April 18, 

I am apt to say Bomewhat like Scarron, when he was dying, that I may have 
made more People laugh in my lifetime in this World of America than wiU cry at 
my departure out of it . . . 

When Dr. Richard Shuckburgh was bom I am imable to tell, but 
it is fairly safe to conjecture that he was bom in England about 1705. 
That Shuckbxu'gh is a well-known Warwickshire name would not be 
conclusive, since there exist also Shuckburghs from Limerick, 
Ireland, but Sir William Johnson, in 1752, made some complimentary 
remarks to "Mr. Shuckburgh, stationer, in London,'' about his 
brother, the doctor. The latter, in one of his letters, speaks about 
his friends in England, and, indeed, in 1767 spends a few months in 
London. In view of this circimistantial evidence, O'Callaghan's 
statement in his New York Colonial Documents (vol. 8, p. 244, 
footnote) that Shuckburgh was of German origin may safely be said 
to be incorrect. 

Farmer and Moore reprinted their article on the origin of Yankee 
Doodle from "an old file of the Albany Statesman, edited by N. H. 
Carter, Esq.'' Such a paper never existed. The facts are these: 
The "Albany Register" ran from 1788 to 1819, or the first months 
of 1820. In 1819, Nathaniel Hazeltine Carter had become the editor, 
and he became the sole proprietor of the Albany Register early in 
1820. He changed its name into the New York Statesman for 
reasons given in the first issue. May 16, 1820. Since the New York 
Statesman was practically a continuation of the Albany Register 
some people, exactly as happens to-day in libraries in similar cases, 
would carelessly speak of the Albany Statesman, meaning either the 
Albany Register or the New York Statesman (printed at Albany). 
Farmer and Moore took their article from an eld file of the '' Albany 
Statesman, ' ' and the word old would suggest the Albany Register rather 
than the New York Statesman. The same account, as Mr. MatthewB 

Yankee Doodle. 153 

discovered, appeared in H.Niles's" Principles and Acts of the Revolu- 
tion in America" (1822, p. 372), and there, too, the article was 
attributed to the "Albany Statesman." This would prove nothings 
since the incorrect term "Albany Statesman" might have been 
the current one for the then defunct Albany Register, but in Niles's 
Register, November 11, 1826, the same story is actually attributed to 
the New York Statesman. This would suggest the inference that 
the story was printed at Albany in the New York Statesman between 
1820 and 1822, but as a matter .of fact the copy at the Library of 
Congress proves that the paper was not published between May, 
1820, and end of November, 1821, and by 1822 the offices of the 
New York Statesman had been removed to New York City, There- 
fore, we have every reason to prefer the older Albany Register as 
source of the story. So did Mary L. D. Ferris in her article 
on "Our National Songs," New England Magazine, 1890 (vol 2, 
p. 483), but her statement that N. H. Carter himself wrote the 
article in 1797 for the "Albany Statesman" is woefully absurd, since 
Carter (1787-1830!) was then only 10 years of age. Furthermore, 
Mr. Frank L. Tolman, the reference librarian of the New York State 
Library, had the Albany Register for 1797 examined and reexamined 
for me without finding any article on the origin of Yankee Doodle. 
Finally, internal evidence absolutely forbids to date the article in 
question so early, because the author of the article distinctly writes 
of a "lapse of sixty years" since 1755, which would fix the date of 
publication of the article about 1815, and incidentally its source as 
the Albany Register. At any rate, two generations had passed 
before the tradition that Doctor Shuckburgh "composed the tune" 
of "Yankee Doodle" found its way into print. II such a tradition 
is to be accepted as history, its details must be above suspicion. 
The practical joke of composing a tune and then recommending it 
gravely as one of the most celebrated martial airs is at least plausible, 
since even great composers — for instance, Hector Berlioz — are known 
to have played such jokes on the unsuspecting. It is not plausible, 
however, that Shuckburgh would have blunted the point of his joke 
by calling the tune "Yankee Doodle." This name it can only have 
received after the novelty of the subterfuge had worn off, and the 
puzzle is, why just "Yankee Doodle?" Such impossibilities in the 
story, as General Amhert's presence at Albany in 1755 instead of 1758, 
may be here disregarded as pardonable historical inaccuracies, but the 
sine qua non is the presence of Dr. Richard Shuckburgh at Albany, 
N. Y., in the simmier of 1755 on the Van Rensselaer estate. Now, it 
is a matter of history that in that year Doctor Shuckburgh was surgeon 
in the "Four Independent Companies of Foot" at New York, and it 
is also a matter of easily verified history (see f. i., Sarg^ent's "BUstory 

154 Yankee Doodle. 

of an expedition against Fort Duquesne/' Philadelphia, 1855) that at 
least two of these companies were ordered by Governor Dinwiddle in 
1754 from New York to garrison the fort at Wills Creek, Va., where 
they still were in 1755, and exactly these troops George Washington 
had been so anxiously expecting. When the preparations for General 
Braddock's ill-fated expedition against Fort Duquesne had been com- 
pleted, these companies, and more specifically Capt. Horatio Gates's 
company, to which Shuckburgh was attached as surgeon, participated 
in the campaign, and after Braddock's famous defeat, July 9, 1755, 
did not until well into October, 1755, reach the vicinity of Albany on 
their retreat. Now, it is of course possible that Shuckburgh was 
detailed to Albany and that only Alexander Colhoun, the other sur- 
geon of the independents, was in the wilderness of Virginia in 1755, 
hundreds of miles away from Albany, but this possibility is far- 
fetched, and the burden of proof is on him who asserts Doctor Shuck- 
burgh to have been at Albany in the summer of 1755. It may be well 
to add here that the only positive reference to Shuckburgh's where- 
abouts in 1755 is contained in one of his letters written from New 
York on November 27, 1755, to Sir William Johnson about the critical 
condition of Baron Dieskau, who had been taken prisoner by Johnson 
at the battle of Lake George. 

Doctor Shuckburgh's case as composer of "Yankee Doodle" at 
Albany, N. Y., in the simmier of 1755 is further weakened by the 
tradition in the very family on whose estate he is reported to have 
exercised his musical imagination. A granddaughter of Gen. Robert 
Van Rensselaer wrote to Mr. Albert Matthews (see Elson's National 
Music of America, p. 140) : 

The story of ''Yankee Doodle" is an authentic tradition in my family. My 
grand&ther, Brig. Gren. Robert Van Rensselaer, bom in the Green Bush Manor 
House, was a boy of seventeen at the time when Doctor Shackbeigh, the writer of 
the verses, and Greneral Abercrombie were guests of his Either, Col. Johannes Van 
Rensselaer, in June 1768. 

We have a picture of the old well, with the high stone curb and well-sweep, 
which has always been associated with the lines written while the British surgeon 
sat upon the curb . . . 

The contradiction between this tradition, which leaves us in the 
dark as to which verses are meant, and the accoimt in Farmer & 
Moore is striking, and the confusion increases by a quotation of 
what a J. F. said in a note on Mrs. Volkert P. Douw in the Magazine' 
of American History, 1884, v. 11, p. 176: 

... It was on the farm of the Douw &unily that the English army, and the six- 
teen Colonial r^^ents, were encamped in 1755, imder Greneral Abercrombie, 
previous to the attack on Fort Ticonderoga in the French and Indian war. And 
it was at this historical spot where '^ Yankee Doodle'' was composed hy Dr. 
Shackleferd, and sung in derision of the four Connecticut r^^iments, imder tlie 
command of Col. Thomas Fitch, of Connecticut . . . 

Yankee Doodle. 155 

This belated tradition has been quoted merely as a matter of rec- 
ord. It is clumsily incorrect, because General Abercrombie's ill- 
advised attack on Fort Ticonderoga did not take place until 1758, 
because the general did not set foot on American soil imtil 1756, 
etc., etc. On the other hand, the Van Rensselaer tradition deserves 
serious attention, as General Abercrombie actually was at and near 
Albany in 1758 supervising the preparations for the attack on Fort 
Ticonderoga, as Doctor Shuckburgh had no known reason for being 
hundreds of miles away from Albany, and as it is much more plausible 
that a witty army surgeon from New York should have written 
humorous '' Yankee Doodle'' verses to an existing familiar and there- 
fore effective tune, than to have composed such a time himself. 

Should the music of the old English time '^ Doodle, doodle, doo'' 
be discovered and found to be identical with our ''Yankee Doodle," 
we might conjecture that the old tune, like so many other old English 
tunes, was well known in the colonies, and we might then feel inclined 
not to doubt the Van Rensselaer tradition that Dr. Richard Shuck- 
burgh, in June, 1758, used this tune as an imderstructure for a humor- 
ous ballad on the Yankees. But the main problem would still remain 
imsolved, What verses did he write? Certainly not the verses, 
"Father and I went down to camp," certainly not the "Yankee 
Doodle came to town" verses with "Macaroni," "Madam Hancock," 
"John Hancock," certainly not any verses that allude to General 
Amherst's victory at Cape Breton on July 26, 1758, certainly not the 
"Doctor Warren" verse, and most assuredly not any verse full of 
insulting ill-humored satire against Americans or even New England- 
ers, since he would have a difficult task indeed who attempted to 
falsify history by asserting that about 1758 ill feeling beyond the 
proverbial, but harmless jealousy between regulars and militia, 
existed among the British and American troops fighting a common 
foe. These considerations narrow the possibilities of the Shuck- 
burgh's authorship down either to verses unknown to us or to such 
"neutral" ones as — 

Brother Ephraim sold his cow 

And bought him a Commission 
And then he went to Canada 

To fight for the Nation. 
But when Ephraim he came home 

He prov'd an arrant coward. 
He wouldn't fi^ht the Frencnmen there, 

For fear of bemg devoured. 

But these belong to "Yankee Doodle, or (as now christened by the 
Saints of New England) the Lexington March," and were not pub- 
lished until anywhere from 1777 to 1799, and surely will be admitted 
to bear the earmarks of an origin later, at any rate, than Jime, 1758, 

156 Yankee Doodle. 

and probably after 1770 rather than before. ThnS; to sum up, Dr. 
Richard Shuckburgh's connection with ''Yankee Doodle" becomes 
doubtful again, and indeed the origin of ''Yankee Doodle" remains 
as mysterious as ever, unless it be deemed a positive result to have 
eliminated definitely almost every theory thus far advanced and thus 
by the process of elimination to have paved the way for an eventual 
solution of the puzzle. 










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SousA, John Philip : National, patriotic, and typical airs of all lands, with copious 
notes. Philadelphia, H. Coleman [cl890]. 283 p. 4«. [Compiled by authority 
of the Secretary of the Navy, 1889, for the use of the department.] 

Stevenson, E. Irenaeus: Our "national" songs. Independent, 1897, vol. 49, 
nos. 252&-2561. 

Wayne, Flynn: Our national songs and their writers. National magazine, 1899A900, 
vol. 11, pp. 284-296. 

Whttb, Richard Grant: National hymns. How they are written and how they are 
not written. A lyric and national study for the times. New York, Rudd A 
Carleton [etc.], 1861. x, [11]-152 p. incl. front. 23 cm. 


The author op * 'America": American notes and queries, 1889/90, vol. 4, pp. 283— 

Bateman, Stringer: The national anthem: A Jacobite h3nnn and rebel song [con- 
tains also references to earlier articles]. Gentleman's magazine, 1893, vol. 275, 
pp. 33-45. 

Benson, L. F.: America [and the Episcopal hymnal]. Independent, 1897, vol. 49» 
p. 51. 

Literature Used for this Report. 159 

BouLT, 8. H.: God save the Queen. Good words, 1895, vol. 36, pp. 813-815. 

Bbownb, C. a.: The story of "My country, 'tis of thee." Musician, 1908, vol. 13, 
p. 309. 

Chafpbll, William : Old English popular music. A new ed. with a pre&ice and notes 
and the earlier examples entirely revised by H. Ellis Wooldridge. London, 
Chappell & CO. [etc.]; New York, Novello, Ewer & co., 1893. 2 v. front, 
(facsim.) 27 cm. First pub. 1838-40 as "A collection of national English airs" 
which was afterwards expanded into his "Popular music of the olden time." 
(1859. 2 V.) Part of the latter ed. was pub. under title "The ballad literature 
and popular music of the olden time." [God save our lord the King, vol. 2, 
pp. 194-200.] 

GmtYSANDBR, Fribdrich: Henry Oarey und der Ursprung des EOnigsgesanges God 
save the King. Jahrbdcher fOr musikalische Wissenschaft, 1863, vol. 1, pp. 

Glabk, Richabd. comp. and ed.: An account of the national anthem entitled God 
save the king I . . . Selected, edited, and arranged. London, Printed for W. 
Wright, 1822. 1 p. 1., [vi-xxviii, 208 p. plates, ports. 23 cm. "Glees:" 
pp. 137-203. 

C[bawfobd], G. a. : God save the King [excellent summing up in &vor of the Jacobite 
origin]. Julian's dictionary of hymnology, 2d. ed., 1907, pp. 437-440. 

GuMMiNOS, William H[atman]: God save the king; the origin and history of the 
music and words of the national anthem. London, Novello and company, limited ; 
New York, Novello, Ewer and co., 1902. v, 126 p.. ind. music, front., port. 
20 cm. 

Engbl, Cabl: An introduction to the study of national music; comprising researches 
into popular songs, traditions, and customs. London, Longmans, Green, Reader, 
and Dyer, 1866. [Pp. 13-18, instructive remarks on the origin, etc., of "Gk>d 
save the King."] 

Gauntlbtt, H. J.: God save the King, a hymn of the Chapels Royal. Notes and 
queries. Id ser., 1859, vol. 7, pp. 63-64. 

God savb thb Kino. Gentleman's magazine, 1814, vol. 84, 2, p. 42, 99-100, 323-324, 
339, 430, 552. 

Goo 8AVB THB KiNO [ou the origin]. CJentleman's magazine, 1836, new ser., vol. 6, 
pp. 141-142. 

"Goo SAVB THB KiNQ," its authorship [communication from A. W. Thayer, John 
Moore, B. D. A., and editorial comment]. Dwight's journal of music, 1877, 
vol. 37, nos. 7, 9, 10. 

God savb thb Quebn [origin of the words]. Chambers's joiumal, 1867, 4th ser., no. 
206, pp. 775-778. 

God savb thb Qubbn. American notes and queries, 1889, vol. 3, pp. 1-3. 

GoTTLD, S. Babikg: God save our gracious queen [Notes to songs, English Minstrelsie, 
vol. 1, pp. xxv-xxvii]. 

[Gbovb, Sib Gbobgb and Kidson, Frank]: God save the King [r^sum^ of the whole 
controversy]. Grove's dictionary of music and musicians, 2d. ed., 1906, vol. 2, 
pp. 188-191. 

Haddbn, J. Cuthbbbt.: The "God save the Queen myths." Aigosy (Lend.), 1900, 
vol. 72, pp. 93-100. 

Thb intbrnational patriotic air Ahbrica — God savb thb Qubbn [with music 
and facsimile by Rev. S. F. Smith, 1893 of "America"]. Outlook, 1898, vol. 
59, pp. 563-565. 

160 Literature Used for this Report. 

Mead, Edwin D.: The hymn ''America/' Boston Evening Tnmscript, October 19, 
1908, p. 10. 

Moose, Aubesttne Woodward: Popular hymn claimed by all nations. Musical 
leader and concert goer, 1904, vol. 8, No. 8, pp. 6-8. 

"Mt countst, 'tis of thee '' [reprint of an account of its origin in the words of Rev. 
S. F. Smith]. Music, 1898, vol. 14, p. 107. 

Mters, a. Walus: Qod save the Queen. The story of our national hymn. The 
Ludgate, 1900/01, vol. 11, pp. 148-164. 

N., J. G.: The history of ''God save the King.'' Gentleman's magazine, 1836, new 
ser. vol. 6, pp. 369-374. 

The national htmn [inconsequential note on the origin of "God save the King"]. 
Atlantic monthly, 1896. vol. 77, p. 720. 

The stort of the htmn "America" [condensed from an article in the N. Y. World, 
Sunday Jan. 20, 1895]. The Critic, 1895, vol. 26, p. 69. 

Tappert, Wilhelm: Wandemde melodien. Eine musikalische Studie, 2. verm, 
und verb. aufl. Berlin, Brachvogel & Ranft, 1889 [contains interesting remarks 
on "God save the King"]. 2 p.L, 95, [1] p. 22J cm. 

W., J. R.: Origin of "God save the King." Gentleman's magazine, 1836, new ser. 
vol. 5. pp. 594-595. 

What is our claim to "God save the Kino?" Musical news, 1908, vol. 35, noe. 

Where "America" was first sunq [two communications from William Copley 
Winslow and Edwin D. Mead]. Boston Evening Transcript, 1908, Oct. 27, p. 11. 


Facsimile of "Hail Columbia" bt Joseph Hopkinson [dated, March 24, 1838]. 
Henkels' Catalogue of autograph letters, etc., no. 738, p. 48. 

Hail Columbia: Moore's complete encyclopaedia of music [1880], pp. 358-359. 

Hail Columbia: American notes and queries, 1888/89, vol. 2, p. 18. 

[KiDSON, Frank]: Hail Columbia. Grove's dictionary of music and musicians, 2d. 
ed., 1906, vol. 2, pp. 271-272. 

[McKoT, William]: Origin of "Hail Columbia" [reprint from Poulson's DaUy Adver* 
tiser, Phila., 1829, where article appeared under pseudonjrm "Lang Syne." 
(Dawson's) Historical magazine, 1861, vol. 5, pp. 280-282.' 

SoNNECK, O. G.: Critical notes on the origin of "Hail Columbia." Sammelbfinde 
d. I. M. G. 1901, vol. 3, pp. 139-166. 


Applbton, Nathan: The Star Spangled Banner. An address delivered at the Old 
South Meeting House, Boston ... on Jime 14, 1877. Boston, Lockwood, 
Brooks & Co., 1877. 8^. 34p. [on the history of the flag, the song, etc.] 

Browne, C. A.: The story of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Musician, 1907, v. 12, 
p. 54L 

Carpenter, John C: "The Star Spangled Banner" [^th port, and &u»iinile]. 
Century magazine, 1894, vol. 48, pp. 358-363. 

Chappbll, Wm.: "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "To Anacreon in Heaven" [on 
the authorship of John Stafford Smith]. Notes and Queries (London), 1873, 
4th ser., vol. 11, pp. 50-51, 

Literature Used for this Report. 161 

Dorset, Mrs. Anna H. Origin of the Star Spangled Banner [reprinted from Wash- 
ington Sunday Morning Chnmick], (Dawson's) Historical magazine, 1861, vol. 5« 
pp. 282-283. 

For a new National Hymn. North American review., 1906, vol. 183, pp. 947-948. 

The Francis Soott Key Memorial. Munsey's magazine, 1898, vol. 20, pp. 325-326. 

HiOGiNS, Edwin.: The national anthem ''The Star Spangled Banner," Francis Scott 
Key, and patriotic lines. Baltimore, 1898 [illustrated reprint of the poem with 
a brief biographical sketch, 12 p. 16®]. 

£[iLL, Marion: The Star Spangled Banner. Does it get weighed? Or yet wade? 
Uncertainty of many school children on the subject. McClure's magazine, 
1900, vol. 15, pp. 262-267 [not historical]. 

Key, Francis Scott: Poems . . . with an introductory letter by Chief Justice Taney. 
New York, R. Carter & Bros., 1857 [the letter narrates 'Hhe incidents connected 
with the origin of the song The Star Spangled Banner" as told the author by 

K[id80n], Frank: Star Spangled Banner. Grove's dictionary of music and musi- 
cians, 2d ed., 1908. vol. 4, pp. 674-675. 

King, Horatio: The Star Spangled Banner. Magazine of American history, 1883. 
Vol. X, pp. 516-517. 

LossiNQ, Benson John: The pictorial field-book of the war of 1812. Facsimile of 
the original manuscript of the first stanza of ''The Star Spangled Banner,'' 
reprinted from Kennedy and Bliss' ''Autograph leaves of our country authors;" 
origin of the hymn narrated in footnote to pp. 956-958. 

McLauqhlik, J. Fairfax: "The Star-Spangled Banner!" who composed the music 
for it. It is American, not English. American Art Journal, 1896. vol. 68, No. 
13, pp. 194-195. 

Mead, Lucia Ames: Our National Anthem [against "The Star Spanned Banner"]. 
Outlook, 1903. vol. 75, p. 616. 

Maryland, Board of pubuo works: The seventh star. Facts and figures about 
the State of Maryland. Her past greatness and her present prosperity . . . Pub. 
by the board of public works for the Louisiana purchase exposition. Maryland 
day, September 12th, 1904. Baltimore, Md. Press of Lucas brothers [1904]. 
[22] p. front., illus., ports., ^Msims. 23^ cm. Contains facsimiles. Compiled 
by [L. H. Dielman]. 

A monument to Francis Scorr Key [by Doyle and port, of K. on p. 128]. The 
Critic, 1898. new ser. vol. 30, p. 129. 

The National Anthem [on the official adoption of "The Star Spangled Banner" 
by the Army and Navy]. Outlook, 1903. vol. 75, p. 245. 

National hymnology [on our national anthem with special reference to "The Star 
Spangled Banner"]. Scribner's magazine, 1907. vol. 42, pp. 380-381. 

PiNKERTON, William: The Star Spangled Banner. Notes & Queries, 1864. 3d ser. 
vol. 6, pp. 429-430. 

Preble, George Henry: The Star Spangled Banner, autographic copies, additional 
verses, etc. (S^. 7p.) published separately in ed. of 100 copies with ^kcsimile. 
Boston, 1876. 

Preble, Geo. Henry: The Star Spangled Banner. Autograph copies, additional 
verses, etc. Communicated by Rear Admiral . . . [with &K»iinile of copy dated 
Oct. 21, 1840]. New England Historical and Genealogical register, 1877. vol. 
31, pp. 2^-31. 

85480-09 11 

162 Literature Used for this Report. 

Pebble, Geo. Hbnrt: Three historic flags and three September victories [contains 
important matter on ''The Star Spangled Banner" especially the different auto- 
graphs]. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1874. vol. 28, pp. 

Salisbubt, Stbphbn: The Star Spangled Banner and national songs [Read at a meet- 
ing of the American Antiquarian Society, in Worcester, Oct. 21]. Dwight's 
journal of music, 1872. vol. 32, pp. 332-333. 

Salisbury, Stephen: The Star Spangled Banner and national airs. [Read before 
the American Antiquarian Society, Oct. 21, 1872.] American Historical Rec- 
ord, 1872. vol. 1, pp. 550-654. 

Salisbury, Stephen: An essay on the Star Spangled Banner and national songs. 
Read before the Society, October 21, 1872. Worcester, 1873. 8*. 15 p. Re- 
printed from the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society. 

Same [second ed.] with additional notes and songs. Worcester, 1873. 8*. 

24 p. (ed. of 100). 

Salisbury, Stephen: The Star Spangled Banner and national songs. American 
Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, 1873, pp. 43-53. 

Sohell, Frank H.: Our great national hymn ''The Star Spangled Banner*' and its 
origin [inconsequential note]. Leslie's weekly, 1898. vol. 87, p. 85. 

[The selection of the musio for the "Star Spangled Banner" by Ferdinand 
Durang.] Iowa Historical Record, 1897. vol. 13, p. 144. 

SmppEN, Rebecca Lloyd: The original manuscript of ''The Star Spangled Banner." 
Pennsylvania Magazine of Hist. & Biogr., 1901. vol. 25, pp. 427-428. 

Smtth, F. S. Key: Fort McHenry and the "Star Spangled Banner" [with port, of 
Francis Scott Key]. The Republic magazine, 1908. vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 10-20. 

The Star Spangled Banner [&csimile of the handwriting of the author, FranciB S. 
Key, dated Washington, October 21, 1840, formerly in possession of Lewis J. Cist]. 
Smith's American historical and literary curiosities, 2d ser. Philadelphia, 
PI. LV. 

The Star Spangled Banner: Dwig^t's journal of music, 1861. vol. 19, pp. 37, 
39, 46. 

The Star Spangled Banner: American Historical Record, 1873. vol. 2, pp. 

Star Spangled Banner [inconsequential note]. American notes and queries, 1888. 
vol. 1, pp. 199. ' 

The Star Spangled Banner. [Facsimile of four stanzas in autograph of F. S. Key, 
dated Oct. 21, 1840] Henkeb' Catalogue of autograph letters, etc. No. 738, p. 50. 

"Taney, Roger B.]: "The Star Spangled Banner" [extract from a letter dated 1856, 
written to her giving the origin of the words and] Contributed by Mrs. Rebecca 
Lloyd Shippen. Pennsylvania magazine of history and biography, 1898/99. Vol. 
22, pp. 321-325. 

Warner, John L.: The origin of the American National anthem called the Star 
Spangled Banner. [Read before the Pennsylvania Historical Society, at its meet- 
ing, 1867]. (Dawson's) Historical magazine, 1867. Vol. 11, pp. 279-280. 

Wilcox, Marion: America's National song [The Star Spangled Banner] Harpier's 
weekly, 1905. Vol. 49, p. 373. 

X. The Star Spangled Banner . . . Musical times, 1896. Vol. 37, pp. 516-519. 

Literature Used for this Report. 163 


Banbbmbb, Gaboune T.: Yankee Doodle. Lippincott's magazine, 1896. Vol. 58, 
pp. 138-140. 

Bell, William: Yankee, its origin and meaning. Notes and queries, 1853. Ist ser., 
vol. 7, p. 103. 

Boos, J. E.: Where ''Yankee Doodle'' was written. American music journal, 1907. 
Vol. 6, No. 8, pp. 30-32. 

Gabteb, N. H.: Origin of Yankee Doodle [repr. without date from the Albany Register 
or New York Statesman] Fanner & Moore's (Collections, 1824. Vol. 3, pp. 217-218. 

Dbab Old Yankee Doodle I The song is seven centuries old and four great nations 
have owned it. Metronome, 1899. Vol. 15, No. 9, p. 10. 

E. W. C: Yankee Doodle. Lippincott's magazine, 1876. Vol. 18, pp. 126-128. 

Flood, Wm. H. Gbattan: The Irish origin of the tune of "Yankee Doodle." [With 
music sheet containing the tune as printed by Aird, 1782, and the time of " All 
the way to Galway" from a MSS. written 1750]. The Dolphin, 1905. Vol. 8, 
pp. 187-193. 

J., G. W.: Kitty Fisher. Notes & Queries, 1865. 3d ser., vol. 8, pp. 81-^2. 

LoBSiNQ, Benson J.: The origin of Yankee Doodle [repr. from the Poughkeepsie 
Eagle]. Littell's Living age, 1861, vol. 70, pp. 382-384; Dwight's journal of music, 
1861, vol. 19, p. 107. 

LossiNG, Bbnson John. The pictorial field-book of the revolution. New York, 
Harper & brothers, 1860. [Yankee Doodle National Song of the Revolution] p. 683. 

MooBB, Aubebtine Woodwabd: Yoimg America in musical tones [on origin of *' Yan- 
kee Doodle"] Musical leader and concert goer, 1905. Vol. 10, Nos. 2-3. 

Obigin of Yankee Doodle. Musical reporter, Boston, 1841. Vol. 1, May, pp. 206- 

The Obigin of Yankee Doodle. Various theories of the meaning of the words. 
Music and literature, 1898. Vol. I, No. 6, p. 10. 

PoBsoN, JuNiOB. Original of the national melody "Yankee Doodle" [satire on the 
ethjrmological derivation of the words Yankee Doodle]. Democratic review, 1839. 
Vol. 5, pp. 213-221; repr. 1855, vol. 35, pp. 125-131. 

RiMBAUi/r, Edwabd F. Kitty Fisher. Notes & Queries, 1870. 4th ser., vol. 5, pp. 

Yankee Doodle [note on 18th cent, broadsides]. Notes and queries (London), 

1860. 2d. ed. vol. 10, pp. 426. 

Rtdeb, James F. The painter of ''Yankee Doodle" [Archibald M. Willard]. New 
England magazine, 1895/96. New ser., vol. 13, pp. 483^94. 

SoNNECK, O. G. Yankee Doodle nicht ''made in Germany." Allgemeine Musik 
Zeitung, 1907. Vol. 34, p. 381. 

Sonneck, O. G. Yankee Doodle (article contributed to new ed. of Grove's 
Dictionary, 1909). 

S[QniBE], W. B. Yankee Doodle [comprehensive review of the different theories]. 
Grove's dictionary of music and musicians, Ist ed., vol. 4, pp. 493-495. 

A VEBT FUNNY OLD TUNE [Yankee Doodle]. Brainard's musical, 1901. Vol. 3, No. 1, 
p. 30. 

Westcott, T. Yankee and Yankee Doodle. Notes and queries, 1852. 1st ser., vol. 
6, pp. 56-58. 

164 Literature U sed for this Report. 

Yankee, Debivation of. Notee and queries (Lon.), Ist ser., 1851, vol. 3, pp. 260, 437 , 
461; vol. 4, pp. 13, 344, 392-393; 1852, vol. 5, pp. 86, 258; 1852, vol. 6, pp. 50-58; 
1853, vol. 7, pp. 103, 164. 

Yankee Doodle [miscellaneouB queries and answers as to derivation, origin, etc.] 
Historical magazine, 1857. Vol. I, pp. 26-27. 58-69, 86, 91-92, 124, 156-157, 189, 
221, 279, 314, 375; 1858, vol. 2, pp. 214-215, 280; 1859, vol. 3, pp. 22-23, 189; 1861, 
vol. 5, p. 123. 

Yankee Doodle [miscellaneous information on origin of the term, etc.] Magazine 
of American History, 1877. Vol. 1, pp. 390, 452, 576; 1879, vol. 3, p. 265; 1884, 
vol. 11, p. 176; 1886, vol. 15, p. 99; 1891, vol. 25, p. 256; 1891, vol. 26, pp. 75, 236. 

Yankee Doodle [with the old text and additional stanzas] Fanner and Moore's Col- 
lection, historical and miscellaneous, 1824. Vol. 3, pp. 157-160. 

Yankee Doodle. Dwight's journal of music, 1853/54. Vol. 4, p. 27. 

Yankee Doodle [as a popular air of Biscay and Hungary]. Dwight's Journal of 
music, 1858. Vol. 13, p. 133. 

Yankee Doodle [notes containing some curious etjrmological information, variants, 
etc]. American notes and queries, 1889, vol. 3, pp. 161-162; 1889/90, vol. 4, pp. 
72, 142; 1890, vol. 5, p. 225. 

Yankee Doodle [brief sketch with the supposed original text from Isaiah Thomas's 
collection of broadsides, 1813]. Duyckinck's cyclopaedia of American literature. 
Philadelphia, 1875. I, pp. 463-464. 

Yankee, its ettholoot. Notes and queries, 5th ser., 1877, vol. 7, pp. 126, 337-338; 
1878, vol. 10, p. 467; 1879, vol. 11, pp. 18, 38. 

Yankee [derivation of the words]. Webster's dictionary; Standard dictionary; Bart- 
lett's dictionary of americanisms, etc .a 

a These notes on the printed Yankee Doodle literature woidd be incomplete with- 
out reference to the important but unfortunately unprinted essays by Mr. George H. 
Moore and Mr. Albert Matthews mentioned throughout these pages. 









harmonised hj the Author 


V nt in full ^ijtet a 

few Sons of haT«mon\ a 

Jf ^ in fi'll iflee 


^*'F i r r £f '| i^ 

and patron would' be and 


tm (i^don 

and patron would he an<I 

■-ti^tion thAt heth^ir in.vpi - rer - 

<hw an^v«»r ar - rivd fW>rn the jol-ly old Grecian 

*« ■ =— I 1 1 >CS 

from the old Greci m 


thi^ an*"He 

ar- rivd from (hr joUIy oW Orecian 







harmonised \iy the Author 



in full jW a few Sons of haT.mon> a 

<at in f"1I iflee 

j^ ^ 

.ti -.tion 

and patron would ^ be and 

, fiction 

and patron would he an<l 

.fj-Hon that hetheir in««pi - rer - 


hi< an^ver ar ^ rivd iVom the jol-Iy old Grecian 

rfiW . =--r.^ ^ ^ /TS- 

from the jol-ly old Grecian 

ui an^-ner ar- riv^cl' from thr joLly ol<l Trecian 



t7 4 




fons of Co • lum - bia, who bravely 


^^f^zlznlzszczizM. — nz 

' have fought, For thofe rights, which unftaio'd from 





llu^r f^i^u^ed.x^:'. .i.-! — I h^.I pltiiurc in tow, 
Thepori wherc ^iio i.!a\.'l \v;'d In view;'d ai.:pc:ji[E'j:;i wis o'erciouded «iili 
And, dear Acjic, I h'-ircicil frciu yoj. J^^oe, 

Our shilfop w*i bouklei], aad I bucne awrav, 

Hc si^h'ii — anJ exp'.r'i Ji ihs oar I 


H — =c 

;!-:c, A il-w sotis of hanuj; 

riATt rV-FIWii -SALriMa 





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mf iff^jiJJ S ^r^ . 1 ( 1 







haTing istktn fackcl and burnt that very firft of Cities* 
.RcturnU in triumph vtiile the Bar<Isi.aII ftruck up'axiicrottJB dttt:e«. 
,' . Siich a Yankee doodle &f:« - . 

,Thc C)Tlops firft wc vifitcdf Uly&cs wade him cry out, 
1 .J^>r he eat his mutton,drank hU wine* and then he pokd hi.^ eye out* 
^ . Yankee doodle kc» ^ . ^ . , 

4 . - 

. Vrom thence we went to Circe's land, who faith a ^rl of QHmk isv 
.¥m ihe made us drunks an chang'd us al! to alW goats aiid monki>$- 
Yankee doodle &c* 

.And then to hcH and hav k again> then ^heie the Syrens Cara 
Swell cadence, tril and Oukc.almoa as well a» Ma&im Mara. 
Yankee doodle &c * . 

to fell Charybdis next, and then where jrawniny Scylla grapples. 

Six men at once and eats them all, juft like lb many apples. 

Yankee doodle Ice- 

.from thence to where Appollos bulls and Ihccp all play and ikip fo. 

. iVom whence Vlyfscs went ilone to the liland of Calypfo. , 

. -- • Yankee doodle &c • , 

And there he kifscl and toy'd and playVl,tis true upon my hfe Sir. 

•Till harms t«rnVi his miftrcfs off he's coming to his wife Sir. 

Yankee doodle' doodle doo black Negro he get fumbo. 

And when you come to our town, we'll make you drunk with bun bo. 

/■- . 



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A., W. S., 90. 

Abercrombie, General, 96, 154, 155. 

Adams, John, 46, 52, 69. 

"Adams and Liberty," 24, 25, 26, 40, 45. 

Aiken, W. H., 41, 71, 73. 

Aird, James, 106, 120. 

Albany Register, 152. 

Albany Statesman, 96, 152. 

Alderman, L. A., 83. 

"AU the Way to Galway," 106, 146-160. 

"Altpreussiches Rondo," 72. 

"America," 73-78. 

Additional stanzas, 73. 

Author, 73. 

Autographs, 73-75. 

Bibliographical notes, 157-160. 

Differences in text and music, 73-75. 

Facsimiles, 73, 74. 

First sung, 75-76. 

God save the King, 75, 77, 78. 

Origin, 75-76. 

Original text, 74. 
American Antiquarian Society, 135. 
American musical miscellany, 25, 77. 
American origin of "Yankee Doodle," 

100, 128-142, 150-156. 
American Songster (1800), 25. 
American Naval and Patriotic Songster, 

American Republican Harmonist, 25. 
American Songster, New York, 28. 
Amherst, General, 96, 153. 
"Anacreon a poet," 23. 
Anacreontic Society, 18-20. 
Anburey, 82, 85, 109. 
"And now our Senators are gone," 121. 
Ame, Th. Aug., 104, 106, 108, 120. 
Arnold, Samuel, 18, 19, 23, 120. 
Baker, W. S., 53, 62, 63. 
Baltimore Musical Miscellany, 26, 40. 
Bangs, Edward, 140-142. 
Barton, Andrew, 110. 

85480—09 ^12 

Barton, E. M., 35. 

"Battle of the Poets," 95. 

Beanes, Dr. and the St. Sp. B., 8-11. 

Bell, W., 92. 

Bellisle march, 125. 

"Best exchange," 143. 

Bibliographical notes, 157-164. 

"Bird of Birds," 28. 

Biscay origin of "Yankee Doodle," 101, 

107, 111. 
"Blackbird," 135, 138-140. 
Bordes, C, 111. 
"Boston Patriotic Song." Set "Adams 

BoylS^^CV^^ 41, 71, 73. 
"B^Biye Spniof Columbia," 25. 
Bre(5k, Suniiel, 129. 
Brinton, H. F., 54. 
"BriUsh Grenadiers," 125. 
British origin of song "Yankee Doodle/' 

96, 99, 103, 105, 107, 110, 128-142. 
" Brother Ephraim sold his cow," 131, 133. 
"Buckskin," 82. 

Buigh's anecdotes of music, 102, 118. 
C, J., 50, 54, 63, 102, 118. 
^9, ira, 68. 
Calliope, 22. 
Capron, H., 69. 
"Captain Gooding," 135, 137, 141. 

Captain Davis," 135, 141. 

Captain Goodwin," 135, 137, 141. 
"Captain Washington," 135, 141. 
Carmagnole, 68. 
Carr, Benj., 46, 68, 121. 
Carr, Joseph, 47, 121. 
Carter, N. H., 152. 
Chamberlain, J. D., 83. 
Chappell, William, 18. 
Charles I and II and Yankee Doodle, 100, 

101, 107, 144-115. 
Cherokee origin of the word "Yankee," 






Inde X. 

Chetwood, 94. 

"Cborua, sung before General Wadiing- 
ton," 6a-66. 

Ci«t, L. J., 35. 

Columbian Anacreontic Society, 24. 

Columbian songster (1797), 25; (1799), 25. 

"Columbians all the present hour," 122. 

"Columbians arise," 26. 

"Come all ye sons of song," 77. 

"0)mpleat Tutor for the Fife." 67, 122. 

"Congress, the," 144. 

Connel, 22. 

Coverly, Jr., N., 138. 

Cromwell and Yankee Doodle, 97, 100, 
101, 103, 114-115. 

Cummingham, Wm., 125. 

Cununings, Wm., 20. 

Custis, G. W. P., 50, 54, 61-62. 


Danza Esparta, 102, 111. 

Dawes, Judge, 140. 

Dawes, Th., 77. 

Dawson's Hist. Mag., 49, 50. 

"Death or Uberty." i9ec Hail Columbia. 

Deane, Silas, 82. 

"Defence of Fort McHenry." 8u "Star- 
Spangled Banner." 

"D'Estaing eclipsed, or Yankee Doodle's 
defeat," 126, 127. 

Dibdin's Return of Ulisses, 119. 

Dibdin's songs (1799), 25. 

"Did little Dickey," 104, 108, 120. 

Dielman, L. H., 29-30. 

"Disappointment, the," 110. 

Dobbin, R. A., 34. 

Doodle, derivation o( the word, 89-94. 

"Doodle doo," 143-145. 

Dorsey, A. H., 10. 

Douw, Mrs. V. P., 154. 

Drummond, 56. 

Dunlap, Wm., 49. 

Durang (Charles and Ferdinand), 11-17, 
33, 49, 59. 

Dutch origin of the song "Yankee Doo- 
dle," 100, 107, 111-113. 

Dutch origin of the words "Yankee Doo- 
dle," 91-93. 

Dutch Yanky, 93. 

Duyckinck, 100, 111. 

Duyse, Van, 113. 

"E^ly one morning," 140. 

EbswOTth, T. W., 114. 

Edes, Benj., 11-12, 13, 16. 

Elson, Louis C, 15, 22, 46, 54, 58, 70, 78, 

91, 104, 109, 112, 122, 154. 
"Embargo and peace," 26. 
Emerick, A. G., 49. 
"Everywhere fine ladies flirting," 143. 
Eyster, Mrs. NeUie, 13. 
Espata dantsa, 111. 
F., J. T., 84. 
"Farmer (The) and his sons' return from 

a visit to the camp," 135, 141. 
Farmer & Moore, 96, 133, 135, 150-156. 
Famsworth, C. H., 41, 71, 73. 
"Father and 1 went down (up) to camp," 

100, 104, 134-142. 
Father's return from camp, 104. 
Fayles. 8u Phile, Philipp. 
"Federal March," 68. 
"Federal Overture," 68. 
Federal song for the anniversary of Ameri- 
can independence, 49. 
Ferris, Ma^ L. D., 35, 53, 69, 74, 75, 153. 
Feyles. 8u Phile, Philipp. 
Fielding, H., 94. 
Fisher, Lydia (Kitty), 97, 100, 101, 103, 

108, 115-117. 
Fisher's jig, 101, 103, 117-118. 
Fiske, 108. 
Flood, W. H. Grattan, 18, 19, 20, 22, 106, 

119, 139, 146-150. 
"For the Fourth of July," 26. 
"For worms when old," 26. 
Ford, John, 94. 
Ford, P. L., 62. 
Ford, W. C, 135. 
Foster, Willia^^ 25. 
"Fourth of July," 26. 
Fox, Gilbert, 44, 46, 47. 
"Freedom," 26. 
"From meanness first," 81. 
Fyles. 8u Phile, Philipp. 
G., G. A., 115. 
G., M. N., 87. 

Gantvoort, A. J., 41, 71, 73. 
"General Washington's March," 122. 
"Gentleman's Amusement," 66. 
Gerald, S. J. A. Fitz, 53. 
Glen, 120. 

"God Save America," 77. 
"God save each female's right," 77. 
"Ckxi save Geoige Washington," 77. 
"Ckxi save the King," 75, 77, 78, 125, 

"€k)d save the President," 77. 

In d e X. 


*'6od save the Thirteen Statee/' 77. 
Gordon, Wm., 82, 84, 95, 133. 
Gow, 149. 

Graupner, Gottlieb, 122. 
Greek origin of the words ''Yankee Doo- 
dle,*' 94. 
Griffin, A. P. C, 73. 
Griswold, RufuB W., 43. 
Grove's Dictionary, 18, 19, 78, 104, 114, 


H., B. H., 81, 89. 
"Hail Columbia," 4^-72. 

Author. See Hopkinson, Joei 

Autographs, 69-70. 

Bibliographical Notes, 157-158, 160. 

Composer. See Phile, Philip, and 
Philip Roth. 

Differences in text and music, 69-72. 

Early editions, 46-47. 

Facsimiles, 46, 160. 

First sung, 44. 

Forerunners, 48-49. 

Melody. See "President's March." 

Origin, 43. 

Original manuscripts. See Auto- 

Popularity, early, 44-47. 
Hale, Edward E., 76, 140. 
Hamilton, Sir F. W., 113. 
Hancock, John, 98, 129, 130. 
Hancock, Madame, 129, 130. 
Hankey, Sir Richard, 18, 24. 
Harding, 17. 

"Hark, the Trumpet of War," 26. 
Hastings, Jonathan, 84. 
Heckewelder, 86-89. 
Hendon, 13, 15. 
Henkel, S. V., 35, 69. 
"Here you may see the happy congress," 

Hero (the), 125. 
"Hessian Minuet," 125. 
Hessian origin of "Yankee Doodle," 106, 

107, 110, IIL 
Hewitt, James, 122. 
Hildebrand, 69. 
Hogg, 139, 148. 
Holden, Mrs. Austin, 124. 
Holmes, 0. W., 39. 
Hopkinson, Francis, 48, 50. 
Hopkinson, Joseph, 43, 46, 47, 48, 53, 69. 
Howard, Mrs. Charles, 34. 
Howe, Wm., 47. 
Howell, Richard, 63, 64. 

Hubach, Otto, 72. 

Huibert, J., 124. 

Hungarian origin of "Yankee Doodle," 

102, 107, 111. 
Hutchinson, 87. 

"In Years which are Past," 25. 
Indian origin of the word "Yankee," 

Irish origin of "Yankee Doodle," 106, 

Irving, Washington, 86. 
"Jefferson and Liberty," 25. 
"Jefferson's Election," 26. 
Jepson, B., 41, 71, 73. 
Johnson, Sir William, 150-156. 
Keim, George, 33, 34, 35, 69. 
Kennedy and Bliss, 33. 
Key, Fiands Scott. See "Star-Spangled 

Banner;" own account of origin, 8-10. 
Kidson, F., 18, 22, 78, 106, 114, 118, 120, 

125, 127, 145, 147, 149. 
"Kitty Fisher's Jig," 101, 103, 108, 117- 

Kobb^, 73, 76, 105. 
Kossuth, 102, 111. 
Lincolnshire origin of the word Yankee, 

Leigh, H., 101. 
Lewalter, 106, 107, 111. 
Lexington, Battle of, and "Yankee 

Doodle," 109. 
"Lol I quit my native skies," 47. 
Lossing, B. A., 34, 50, 52, 99, 102. 
"Lovely Nancy," 125. 
"Low song upon a high subject," 143. 
Lucy Locket (Lockit), 97, 98, 100, 103, 

Lydenbuig, 151. 
Lydia Locket, 97, 98, 115. 
Macaroni, origin of the word, 126, 127-129. 
McCarty, 49. 
McFarland, Paddy, 13. 
McKoy, Wm., 50, 54, 57, 58. 
McLaughlin, J. Fairfax, 18. 
McLaughlin-Gilchrist, 41, 71, 73. 
M'Lean, J., 55. 
McMaster, J. B., 52. 
Mahar, James, 35. 
"Maid's (The) LamentaUon," 139. 
"Marblehead's a rocky place," 134. 
Marseillaise, 68. 

"Martial Music of Camp Dupont," 123. 
Mason, Lowell, 75, 76. 




I tide X. 

''Maaonic Ode," 22. 

Matthews, Albeit, 80, 81, 94, 99, 104, 105, 
118, 127, 128, 130, 135, 138, 141, 143, 
152, 154. 

Mead, D., 76. 

MoUer, J. C, 69. 

MoncriefE, M. T., 102, 113. 

Montgomerie, Major, 114. 

Mooney, James, 85, 89. 

Moore, G. M., 80, 93, 105, 129, 130. 

Morier, J., 91. 

Mubo, 19. 

"Musical Repository," 26. 

Najaf Koolie Merza, 90. 

"Nancy Dawson," 97, 116. 

"Nankee Doodle," 97, 98, 114. 

Nason, E., 52, 91. 

National Song Book, 26, 47, 49. 

National Songster (1814), 30. 

New American Songster, 28. 

"New Constitutional March," 68. 

"New Federal song." See "Hail Colum- 

"New Hail Columbia," 47. 

"New Yankee Doodle," 122. 

"New York Federal song," 46. 

New York Remembrancer, 25. 

Nicholson, J. H., 11, 17, 30, 31, 32. 

"Nightingale," 25. 

Nile, H., 153. 

"No more shall tyrants here," 74. 

Nonsense rhymes and Yankee Doodle, 

Norwegian origin of Yankee, 91. 

"Not the fictions of Greece," 25. 

"Now let rich music sound," 77. 

"01 how joyful shaU I be," 110. 

' ' 0, say can you see. ' ' See Star-Spangled 

O'Callaghan, 150, 152. 

O'Neill, Francis, 147, 150. 

"Ode for the Fourth of July," 77. 

"Of the victory won," 26. 

Omrod, J., 47. 

"Oppression," 81. 

Oriental origin of the words Yankee 
Doodle, 89-91. 

Oswald, 149. 

Otway, T., 94. 

"Our joyful hearts to^y," 73. 

"Our country's efficiency," 25. 

"O'er the forest," 26. 

Paine, Thomas (Robert Treat), 24, 25. 

Parke, W. T., 18. 

"Pauwel Jotms," 113. 

Persian origin of the words "Yankee Doo- 
dle," 89-91. 

Petersfield, 197. 

Petrie, 147. 

Pfalz. See Phile, Philip. 

Pfyle. 5e« PhUe, Philip. 

Pfyles. Su Phile, Philip. 

Phazles. Su Phile, Philip. 

Pheil. i9e0 Phile, Philip. 

Phile, PhiUp (Fyles, PfeU, Phyla, etc.), 
49-52, 53-64, 55, 56, 57, 58-61 (bio- 
graphical notes), 62, 63, 65, 66, 68-69 
(proof as composer of the President's 

Phyla. Su Phile, Philip. 

Phyles. Su Phile, Philip. 

Phylo. Su Phile, Philip. 

Phylz. iSe« Phile, Philip. 

Popularity (early) of Yankee Doodle in 
America, 108-110. 

Porson junior, 94. 

Portsmouth Yankee, 81. 

Poynton, Thomas, 126, 127. 

Pre-revolutionary origin of song Yankee 
Doodle, 96, 97, 99, 101, 107, 108, 114, 
115, 128-142, 150-156. 

Preble, Enoch, 126. 

Preble, G. H., 13, 14, 28, 29-30, 33, 34-39, 
52, 69, 75, 104, 120, 126. 

President's March, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48. 
Composer.. Su Philip Phile and 

Philip Roth. 
Early editions, 66-70. 

First mentioned in print, 68. 
History, 49-69. 
Prussian march, 72. 

Prince Eugene's march, 125. 

Ravenscroft, E., 94, 144. 

"Recess, The," 121. 

Reinagle, A., 59, 63-65. 

"Return (The) of UlisBes to Ithaca," 119. 

Revolutionary origin of song "Yankee 
Doodle," 95, 96, 98, 100, 107. 

"Rights of woman," 77. 

Rimbault, 101, 103, 115, 117-118, 126. 

Ripley-Tapper, 41, 71, 73. 

Ritchie, jr., John, 127, 131. 

Roat. Su Roth, Philip. 

Robinson, Alvan, 124. 

Rogers collection of autograph letters, 

Rome excis'd, 95. 

Roots, Philip. Su Roth. 

I nde X. 


Roth, Philip (Johann), 50, 62, 54, 55, 

56-^, 69. 
'* Roundheads and the Cavalien," 97, 114. 
"Royal love song," 143. 
"Rule Britannia,'' 49. 
Ruaeell, Lt. Col., 117. 
S, F. B. N., 100, 140. 
S, G. W. v., 93. 
Sabin, 110. 

Safifell, W. T. R., 48, 51. 
Salf, 91. 

Salisbury, S., 18, 24, 25, 52. 
Sands, Samuel, 11, 15, 31. 
Saratoga and "Yankee Doodle,'' 109. 
"Scaramouch a philoeopher," 144. 
Scheurleer, D. F., 93, 113. 
Schmidt, John Henry, 121. 
Scotch origin of the word Yankee, 91. 
"See me just arrived from Francee," 143. 
"Seventh star," 29. 
Shackbuig. 8u Shuckbuigh. 
Shaw and Carr, 66, 121. 
Shaw's Flute Preceptor, 67. 
Shippen, Mrs. R. L., 17, 30-32. 
Shirley, J. B., 41, 71, 73. 
Shuckbuigh, Richard, 97, 104, 108, 130, 

Sicard, 68. 

Siefert, H. 0., 41, 71, 73. 
"Sing Yankee Doodle," 79. 
Skillem, Thomas, 127, 131. 
Smith, Buckingham, 102, 111. 
Smith, E., 41, 71, 73. 
Smith's F. S. Key; account of the St. Sp. 

B., 11. 
Smith, John Christopher, 102, 108, 118- 

Smith, John Stafford, 20, 22, 23, 40. 
Smith, Nicholas, 54. 
Smith, Samuel F. See America. 
Smollett, 93. 

"Sonata sung . . . 1789," 63. 
Songster's Companion, 28. 
Songster's Blagazine, 28. 
Songster's Miscellany, 28. 
Songster's Museum, 28, 79. 
"Sons of Columbia." Su Adams and 

Liberty, 26. 
Sousa, J. P., 36, 41, 53, 72, 123. 

Spain," 25. 

Spanish gypsy," 144. 
Spofford, A. R., 36. 
Spowers, Geoige, 38, 39. 
Squire, Wm. B., 18, 20, 104, 118, 119, 120, 


Stanfield, J. F., 25. 

"Star Spangled Banner," song collection, 

(Wilmington, 1816), 28. 
Star Spangled Banner, 7-42. . 

Additional stanzas, 38-39. 

Air of. See "To Anacreon in 

Autographs, Key's of, 12, 17, 31-38. 

Baltimore American, 1814 account, 

Bibliographical notes, 157-158, 160- 
. 162. 

Broadsides early, 11, 12, 13, 17, 28, 
29, 30, 31, 37, 38. 

Chappell, W., 18. 

Composer, 20, 22, 23. 

Differences in melody, 38-42; in text, 

Durang (Charles and Ferdinand), 
11-17, 33. 

Early appearances in song collec- 
tions, 28, 29, 30. 

Edes, Benj., 11-12, 16, 17. 

Eyster, Mrs. Nellie. 

Facsimiles, 29, 32-35, 39. 

First accounts of, 7-12. 

First printed, 10-12, 16. 

First sung, 11-17. 

First text, 37. 

Harding, 17. 

Hendon's account, 13, 15. 

McFarland, Paddy, 13. 

McLaughlin, J. F., 18. 

Melody of. Su "To Anacreon in 

Nicholson, Judge, 11, 17, 30, 31, 32. 

Origin of, 7-10. 

Original manuscript. Su Auto- 

Popularity, early, 28. 

Preble, G.H., 13, 14, 28, 29, 30, 33-39. 

Salisbury, S., 18, 24. 

Sands, Samuel, 11, 15, 31. 

Shippen, Mrs. R. L., 17, 30-32. 

Smith, John Stafford, 20, 22, 23. 

Smith's, F. S. Key, account, 11. 

Taney's account of, 8-10, 17, 32. 

"To Anacreon in Heaven," 13, 17-28. 

Tune of. Su "To Anacreon in 

Warner's, J. L., account, 12, 13, 16. 
Stevens, 6. A., 143, 145. 
Stevenson, E. I., 53. 
T., J. H. 
Taney, R. B., 8-10, 17, 32. 




Inde X. 

Taylor, Raynor, 123. 

"Temple of Minerva," 48. 

Thacher, James, 82, 96, 99, 109. 

Thayer, A. W., 123. 

''The Frenchman came upon the coast,'' 

"The genius of Prance," 25. 
"There is a man in our town," 105, 130. 
Thomas, Isaiah, 100, 138. 
Thompson, C. and S., 127. 
Thomson's coimtry dances, 103. 
Tolman, F. L., 153. 
Thyla. See Phile, Philipp. 
Ticknor, G., 91. 
"To Anacreon in Heaven," 13, 14, 17-28. 

America, frequency in, 24-28. 

Author of words, 20. 

Composer of, 18, 22-23. 

Editions, early, 20-23. 


History of, 18-24. 

Words, 21. 
"To Columbia, who gladly," 25, 26. 
"To old Hiram," 22. 
"To the gods who preside," 25. 
Tomlinson, Ralph, 20, 21. 
"Trip to HaHfax," 125. 
Trumball, John, 87, 109. 
"Two to one," 106, 120. 
Tyler, Royall, 133-135, 143. 
"Uncle Sam," 136. 
"Union and liberty," 26. 
"Union of the gods," 25, 26. 
Van Rensselaer, 96, 150, 153, 154. 
Vocal companion, Phila., 1796, 24; Bos- 
ton, 1802, 25. 
Vocal enchantress, 22, 40. 
Vocal magazine (1778), 21. 
Vocal magazine (1797), 22. 
W., T. H., 100. 

Walsh's collection of dances, 101, 117-118. 
Walters, Henry, 30-33, 37. 
Ward, E., 94. 
Warner, J. L., 12, 13, 16. 
Warren, Dr. Joseph, 132, 133. 
Washington, George, 46, 49, 60, 51, 52, 53, 
67, 61, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 100, 136, 140, 
Washington, Mrs. George, 63. 
"Washington and the constitution," 46. 
"Washington's March," 60, 53, 61, 122. 
Watson, J. W., 97, 129. 
Webster, 87, 89, 90. 
"Welcome, mighty chief," 63-65. 
Well met, fellow-freemen," 25, 26. 


Westcott, T., 99. 

Wheatley, H. B., 128. 

"When Bibo went down," 26. 

"When our sky," 26. 

''When YanJdes skili'd in martial rule," 

White, R. G., 61. 
Whiting, C. E., 41, 71, 73. 
"Whittier Perkins' book," 124. 
"Wild Irishman," 126. 
"Will ye go to Sheriff muir?" 148-149. 
Williams, Roger, 88. 
Wllig, G., 47, 67, 70, 121, 122. 
Wilson, J. J., 26, 47, 49. 
Winslow, Edward, 89. 
Winslow, W. C, 76. 
"Witch of Edmonston," 144. 
Wolfe, James, 81. 

"World turned upside down," 109. 
Wyoming Bard, 43. 
Yankee Doodle, 68, 78, 79-166. 

"All the way to Galway," 106. 

American origin of song, 100, 107, 
128-142, 150-156. 

Analysis of different theories, 107* 

Ame, Dr., 104, 108, 120. 

Author. See Origin. 

Bangs, Edward, author?, 140-142. 

Beethoven, Ninth symphony, 78. 

Bibliographical notes, 157-168, 163- 

Biscay origin, 101, 107, 111. 

British origin of song, 96, 97, 98, 99» 
103, 105, 107, 110, 128-142. 

Broadsides, 100, 121, 136-142. 

Bunker Hill, 82, 100, 109. 

Cape Breton, 130-133. 

Charles I and II, 100, 101, 107, 114- 

Characteristics of, 79. 

Chorus refrain, 110, 123, 142-146. 

Composite time?, 125. 

Cromwell and Yankee Doodle, 97, 
101, 103, 107, 114-116. 

Danza Esparta, 102, 107, 111. 

Differences in text or music, 120, 
122-125, 128-142. 

"Doodle doo," 14^-145. 

Dutch origin of the song, 100, 107, 

Dutch origin of the words, 91-93. 

Early use in America, 108-110, 116-